Spirit

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The Indie Ink challenge has gotten more interesting. Now we’re getting other people involved, and I got a challenge I wouldn’t have picked for myself this week. It’s a stretch. Supermaren came up with mine: Write a story involving a famous historical event from the perspective of an inanimate object.

Let’s see how this goes…

He watched me being built and made sure they did it right. He knows me better than anyone. That ended up being very¬† important. It was stormy for days so we couldn’t leave. He’s been pacing, getting irritable. Today, though, the rain has stopped. He showed up early this morning, jubilant, carrying sandwiches and water. He checked me over very carefully, topped off all five tanks, and we were off. There was a huge crowd cheering us on, although I think they all held their breaths for a minute as we got off the ground. It was a little squishy from all of the rain, and I was heavy, but we got up and moving eventually. Not hitting the telephone wires or the tractor helped. I knew we could get up, but he seemed a little nervous at first. I don’t like taking off from squishy surfaces. I really wanted a hard, fast runway, one that let me get up to speed easily, but once we were up it didn’t matter.

We flew for a while, getting comfortable, and then he turned me out over the water. It was dark and foggy. The moon wasn’t out, and it was hard to see the stars. I’d never flown in weather like this. I knew that below me was only water, but I couldn’t see anything. It was cold, too. We flew through part of a cloud and I could feel ice building up all over me. I didn’t want to keep going into the cloud because I didn’t know if I could keep flying. Ice is heavy stuff, and I was already heavily laden. Luckily, he turned away from the cloud and the ice began to dissipate. We went down to help get rid of the ice. We were still over water, and he was flying us too close. I thought it was too close, anyway. Anything less than a wingspan if we’re not landing makes me very nervous, but it was the only way he could keep us out of the clouds.

All of a sudden, he turned towards lights. Boats! He circled for a while. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t need to – at least he pulled me up a little higher. I don’t know how to explain how it feels to be too close to the water. I knew if he made even the smallest mistake I would smash to bits trying to land, to keep him safe. Water is not forgiving, you know, at least not when you meet it at speed.

The sun began to rise, and the fog cleared. We were over land again, finally. If something went wrong here, I knew he could get us down. We’d practiced enough to make sure he could land me safely under almost any conditions. I felt much safer and happier. The winds were with us, a little bit of a tailwind speeding us along, and I could feel contentment drift in as I did what I was designed for. I carried him smoothly. He didn’t have to work hard to keep me straight and level; he’d build me well, so even with the fuel tanks I wasn’t too hard to fly. We flew for a very long time. It wasn’t exciting, but the scenery was beautiful, and it was a very nice day.

As night fell again, we saw the lights of a big city beginning to show in the distance. He aimed us towards the lights. We circled the Eiffel Tower, a beautiful sight, and got to see all of Paris laid out beneath us. He aimed us towards an airstrip and circled into the wind, then landed. I thought the crowd as we left was huge, but this was more people than I’ve ever seen. We’d been flying almost 34 hours straight. I still had fuel in my tanks. As we landed, he had to stop my propellor to keep from harming anyone. People were swarming the airfield, trying to get close enough to touch him, screaming and cheering.

I knew that most of the glory was his, but I had provided the vehicle for his victory. I am happy with that, and it was the flight of a lifetime.

6 thoughts on “Spirit

  1. It took a while to decide what to write, but then I thought about Lindbergh, and it got a little easier. I got to see the Spirit of St. Louis at the National Air and Space Museum and it amazed me that someone could make that flight in that plane. I guess it stuck with me.

  2. Wonderful! It’s so cool to see where an idea takes someone…I had a small inanimate object in mind, like a pen or a button, but you went with an entire airplane! Thank you so much!

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