The Summer of the Black Hare – scene nine
The pilot of the Cessna cast a disparaging glance at me as I looked at the empty seat next to him. I’d had a shitty night sleep fighting off things I didn’t want to turn the light on to see and being the back of a six seater plane would not aid my mood or health. I didn’t need to lose what little breakfast I was able to eat. Being one step away from taking control was the best I would be able to do so I grabbed the co pilot’s seat before I had even looked at who or what else was flying with us.
NOTE: This is a raw NaNoWriMo rough draft…in this scene the lack of research becomes evident…I was having fun and went to a place even though I hadn’t been there – if that makes sense….
Out the window to my right I could see the big international jets preparing to whisk passengers back to the comfort zone while we were parked on the runway queuing to go deeper into the world of hardship. At moments like this feeling weary and sick, I wondered why I did this. I had no need to but that was probably the reason why – guilt because of my privilege and gifts. However today it was to escape not from comfort but from what I had done. I knew as we bumped down the runway that in order to escape I might just have to take the same route that Johnnie had but I also knew only too well what that did to those left behind.
The clouds in front of us told me what was store just before we hit the first drop. I watched the dials register the fluctuations in our altitude and I didn’t know if this was better or worse. I knew the rudiments of flying a small plane. You can’t take as many flights as I have not do and I learned when to read the sweat on the pilot’s brow as nothing to do with heat and all to do with panic. Right now thankfully it was heat so I turned from the controls and looked at the clouds around us rather than the hovels below.
The hovels might have been easier to take for the clouds became thicker and darker I knew this was not going to be pleasant. We were flying fairly low as it was and this plane couldn’t go to high and i suspected what the pilot was listening to was the weather advice. My advice just as we hit a drop of two hundred metres was turn around and try again tomorrow. The roaches would be easier to take than being whipped about the sky in a tiny inadequate plane. I can be quite calm about have a knife held to my neck but I was a complete wimp with flying and flights like right now were why. The plane was not only hopping up and down but side to side.
At moments like this I began to think I could find God again. I thought of all those prayers being said for my lost soul by my mother, brother and great grandmother and thought there might well be something in it. Then I reminded myself I had just been completing death as a way out. Of course then it was under my controls and terms. I did not want to fall out of the sky. Just the thought of it had the autopilot in me praying. I hadn’t yet figured out how to switch it off but one of these days I would. It had to be possible even if it required therapy.
I closed my eyes to see if this would be better, but I should have known it would not. I heard before I smelt the effect of the flight on the person immediately behind me. I spoke hardly to my stomach and thankfully due to the engines noise the pilot couldn’t here but he was quite busy anyway. The layer of sweat on his brow had changed. No longer was it caused by heat but by fear. I could smell it. My reckoning we had been in the air for an hour of a three hour flight. Our flight path skirted around the rebel activity and came to the nearest landing strip to the camp that had been set up to help the victims of the latest push.
The pilot lifted the satellite navigation which ten years older than the one I used when I fished in my dingy in Cornwall. He kept tapping it and speaking on the radio. This i knew was not good. I studied the controls in front of me and many were missing. In their place were bits of wood. The plane was older than I, but that should not be a problem. What would be one was if we went off course then we became fair game for target practice and I think they must be pretty good judging by the death and destruction both the government and the rebels had wreaked in this battered country.
As I was thinking the implications through, something that wasn’t air pocket hit the wing on my side of the plane.
Thanks for reading…this may be the last scene that I post because of the leap of faith that would be required of the reader would be too much…