Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for First Flight or Forever

Source: Anne Merritt

It felt like forever.  Waking up in the dim orange light from his dinosaur nite lite while buzzing with energy and excitement now seemed like it had been forever ago.  Or at least, you know, like a week. 

“Ma-om,” he moaned, “are we ever gonna get going?”

“Yes, sweetie- any minute, just sing a song and by the time you reach the end we’ll be flying,” she said.

He harrumphed at her.  She was always saying that- “just sing a song and we’ll be there”, “just sing a song and we’ll be going”.  He’d tried it a few times before concluding that there were no songs- ever- that were long enough.

But today especially- with the promise of flying for the first time ever made impossibly far away by a long drive into the city, followed by a long trolley ride to the airport from the biggest parking lot he’d ever seen, followed by waiting in line forever waiting to put stickers on their bags, followed by walking the length of a football field or, like, 20 to get to their gate- not to mention the refusal to stop at any of the mall’s-worth of stores they passed on the way, followed by sitting on a bench waiting to board and not being allowed to lean over and watch the movie the man next to them was playing on his computer and then finally being allowed to get on the plane only to sit and wait for what seemed like yet another eternity and then finally start moving across a maze of roads and then stop again… To go through all that, days worth of not flying, and then still to be sitting here?  It was too much. 

He kicked at the seat in front of him, and hummed.  He didn’t know what he was humming yet, he’d have to make it up as he went along.  Maybe then he’d finally discover something long enough.

“Sweetie, don’t kick, that’s rude,” his mother admonished him.

“Ohhhh,” he groaned, loudly enough to be heard over the loud speaker which was saying a random string of numbers that meant as much to him as any of those he’d heard in the airport.

“Shhh- the captain’s speaking!” his mother said, grabbing him by the arm and giving a slight tug.

He pulled his arm away angrily and made a face at her, then heard the words “about to get going”. 

“Ok, you all ready?” his mother asked.

“Yeeessss,” he whined.

“And is Mr. Ungaloo all ready?”

He brandished his T-rex at her in exasperation.

“Ok, well hold onto him tight!”

He waited.  Nothing happened.  He punched Mr. Ungaloo in the face, just because.  Still nothing happened.  Then he heard a noise like a gust of wind followed by a strange whirring noise.

 “What’s that?” he asked, straining to hear.

“Those are the engines, sweetie!”

The plane jolted again, and then started rolling forward.  He grasped Mr. Ungaloo tight, more out of excitement than fear.

“Here we go!” his mother said in his ear.

There was a sound like thunder in a blender and the plane rushed forward.  He stared out the window as the ground outside rushed past, faster and faster and the wing bumped and jumped as it sped.  He wondered if it might fall off but the noise and the movement and the feeling of throttling forward all combined to make him speechless, and a little scarred.

The noise built to a deafening pitch and then suddenly quieted.  He felt himself being pushed upwards and felt a little dizzy as the ground rapidly dropped away from them.  He kept his eyes glued to the window and watched as world he’d never seen before approached.

“We’re flying…” he whispered and knew that he wanted to stay in the air, just like that, forever.


  1. The wonders of flight still haven't worn off for me. It's an amazing achievement of human engineering and know-how. The funniest thing is that from the sky, houses and cars really do look like the crappy models they sell with toy trains. They're entirely cheesily accurate.

  2. Great post, flying is always amazing, however often you do it!
    Good luck with the rest of the A-Z Challenge.

  3. You painted the scene wonderfully.

  4. The ALL CAPS text was a bit hard on the eyes, but I enjoyed this. Nice slice of life!

  5. Great job capturing the frustration and excitement of this first flight. I especially liked it when he punched the T-rex for no reason. :)

    Watching children fly for the first time is fun - especially since flying is such a wonderful experience.


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