Friday, December 23, 2011

The Wing Suit

From Thursday 12/22/11 Thinking Ten Prompt

Jack's stomach knotted hard when he opened the cheap metal wardrobe in the garage.  His wing suit was missing.  He knew immediately who had taken it.............

"Tommy!"  Jack ran back into the house almost taking out his mom who was busy with some kitchen drudgery of one kind or another.

"Jack, slow down. No running in the........"  Jack had already made it up the stairs and was well beyond her voice.  He quickly checked Tommy's room.  He opened his closet and looked under his bed.  No Tommy.  Standing in the middle of the Tommy's room, panic and fear of what might come twirled out of control in his mind.

He was not mad that Tommy had taken something that cost him the wages earned from two summers of mowing lawns.  No, he was not mad, he was scared witless. Even though his twin brother was his age,his mind stopped growing  many years ago. **

In full panic mode, Jack grabbed his hair in both hands and bent over.  His hair still firmly in hand, Jack stood back up and began to spin in circles in the center of the room.  Tommy's Buzz Lightyear poster orbited him like some planet with big eyes.  His rotations slowed as he began to push aside the panic and allow some rational thought to creep in.

Tommy had been as fascinated if not more than he was when they discovered those YouTube videos of guys jumping out of airplanes and actually flying.  Jack had been fascinated enough to plop down his hard earned lawn mowing money for a used suit he found on Ebay.  Once the suit was his, Tommy could not leave it alone.  and now..........Jack focused.  where would Tommy go?

The tallest structure within walking distance and for that matter in all of Hiram, Maine was the old water tower up on Halfway Hill.  "Damn." Jack almost panicked again.  "The water tower was only 150 feet tall and it had been empty and unused as long as he could remember.  He ran downstairs and out the front door.
Out of breath, Jack hit the dirt road that lead up to the water tower.  He paused for a second, maybe two to catch his breath and actually look at his destination.One hundred yards or so up the road a small group of people were at the base of the tower.  They were looking up.

"Oh geeze.  Dammit Tommy, no!"  Jack put the afterburners back on and sprinted up the dirt road.  The road was so rutted, he had to watch where his feet were, but as he got closer he slowed and looked up.  He spotted movement on the steel walkway that encircled the tank.  Putting his head down agin, he sprinted the last twenty yards.

Jack did not, could not look up right away.   Instead he looked around at ground level.  The group standing at the base were a mixed lot.  Some wore hard hats, some did not.  Jack recognized Officer Jenkins the local county cop.  Off to the side, the local ambulance crew and their ambulance were parked.  They were talking among themselves and laughing with their heads tipped back  watching the top of the tower.  Everyone was watching the tower.

Slowly Jack tipped his head back also.  At first he saw nothing.  Then some movement.  A figure came around the catwalk that surrounded the tank 150 feet above him.  Because of the angle, Jack could not make out who it was.  He began to step back to get a better view when he bumped hard into someone.  He turned around.

"Hi Jack.  I saw you running so I tried to run too so's I could catch up with you . But I can't run so good with this on.  ....You know this suit is really cool  and ...Hey, what's that guy up there doing?  The water tower is off limits, right?  You always told me to never ever in a million years climb up there or you'd kill me....Hey Jack, Is something wrong?"

Just as Jack grabbed his twin brother wearing the red wing suit in a bear hug, Officer Jenkins commented, "Oh they're getting ready to tear down the tower.  Guy up there is checking out how to proceed. Say they'll have it down and gone in a few days."

Thursday, The plot thickens: 
people staring up at a building
The double asterisk (**) denoted where I was at 10 minutes.  Spent another hour, maybe two fleshing it out.  The image is actually a picture of the water tower at my old military school in Maryland.  Figured I'd use at least one real memory  besides the borrowed one.

1 comment:

Beach Bum said...

Great story! I did see one of those wing suits on display at the state fair here in South Carolina a few years ago.

I've skydived once back in 87, but a wing suit would have been beyond me back when I was stupid enough to jump out a perfectly good airplane the usual way.