An Overcast Morning

Day 487

I think I said all I need to regarding steampunk kittens yesterday. Now that’s covered. I can move on.

“Dammit.” John’s head sunk to his hand, “Every time. Every single time.” He clamped his hand tighter over his face and ground at his temples.

His copilot, Varsha Smith, regretted not waiting one more minute before entering the cockpit. John was blustering and she’d not yet tread this ground successfully. If she didn’t end up listening to him whine for an hour she’d ended up getting yelled at for the same length of time. It was a pattern she recognized; she wondered if he did too.

“Wall or sponge?” Varsha asked.

He met her eyes and neither looked away, but John’s attention was elsewhere, like he was solving a quadratic equation in his head: first, outer, inner, last… She decided to help him get to the solution faster.

“Do you want me to be a wall to punch or a sponge for you to cry into?” Harsh, but real.

His face hybridded between a boy caught lying to his mother and one getting a bike for Christmas. Finally, she’d slotted through. A spark of fear dropped in lap like a hotly ashed cigarette. What hell lay in wait in their relationship now?

215 words

The Richardson-Blount NF32 “Jack Rabbit”

It’s nice to know once I drag myself away from the distractions of email and the Internet and begin writing that there’s a dog that wants out, a cat that wants in, and a phone to ring on the other side of the house.

I’m plucking a line from yesterday’s one-minute drill for some expansion. The line didnt capture as much as I thoink may have been in my head as I blurted it out. With luck I’ll be able to attenuate the image into something something:

“Bradford skimmed the landmarks outside the cockpit. He’d picked up the habit early. Stare straight ahead into the coming fight with your eyes, but skim with your mind the…”

A mostly blue Richardson-Blount NF32 “Jack Rabbit” skimmed the morning plains as the sun pinked the horizon from nautical to civil twilight. At ten meters off the deck it was closer to wrecking with the earth than it measured nose to tail. The pilot, Captain Charles “Not Chuck” Bradford, skimmed landmarks and hazards outside the cockpit with his thoughts. He ticked them off like a chef might run down an endless ingredient list: tree, rise, fall, tree, pond, copse, rocks, creek… Bradford’s Drivers’ Ed teacher—a coach probably—mentioned the technique in a classroom lesson. Explicitly naming objects gave them substance in your thoughts in a way that merely perceiving them with your eyes did not. Bradford reacted to information, data, not to ideas.

Day 435