I'm Gonna Fly By Noah Marcus Short Story A loud 'Hey!' resounded through the valley.
Two children, at
most 10 years old were sitting, their legs pulled up against their chests and, until a moment ago, their arms wrapped tightly around their knees.
Louise, the pretty faced, olive skinned girl had just
clapped her hand against the boney back of Hernando, a thin, paler and squint eyed boy.
His yell of pain was the result of his
overeager and hyperactive friend smacking him across the back so hard that it felt as if he had been stabbed.
The field was
quiet save for the soft whoosh of wind which caused the field's countless tall grasses to sway in the night air.
They had been
talking about everything, from their current home lives, to what they imagined it was like to live on the distant capital world of Earth, to the countless stars above their heads, to the last thing they watched on the Net and of course, on what they wanted to grow up to be. "Geez Louise you didn't have to hit me that hard. remember?
Take it easy on me."
Said Hernando, pulling his right arm
off his legs to rub at the spot on his back, which would surely develop into a bruise. "Oh calm down you big baby, I didn't hit you that hard."
replied, folding her arms around her legs again as she watched her
best friend fret over the playful smack she had given him. "Besides," She continued, "You deserved it. talking about, becoming a pilot. Nan."
What are you
I never heard such a stupid thing
Hernando had always been fascinated with space
and the brave fighter pilots of the Alliance of United Systems Fleet as they kept peace and order throughout human space and much of the Orion Arm.
But he had never really expressed any interest in
actually enlisting when he got old enough. Hernando looked over at his friend with an angry glare and said, "Ridiculous?!
This is my dream we're talking about here Lou, don't
make fun of me for it!"
Her mocking of his dream felt almost like a
stab to the heart, and he glared at her to show it.
She was his best
friend, well, actually she was his only friend, shouldn't she be supportive of him?
In the past few months, he had been ill with
everything from the flu, to migraines and even a bout of pneumonia. The very fact that Louise had decided to sneak Hernando out of his house and bring him here tonight proved just how reckless she really was.
But he was thankful to her for it.
The sky was cloudless
tonight, the air was warm and pleasant and the countless stars that Hernando had always been so amazed by were clear and visible.
only feature in the currently moonless sky besides the stars was the vast, borderline transparent strip that was always present, the rings of Coyolxauhqui, their home planet. Louise couldn't believe that her joking had actually made him angry.
As he fumed and glared at her, she could only return a blank
stare back to him. it any longer.
After several moments she finally couldn't handle
It came out as a snort first, before exploding into
loud and echoing laughter.
Falling on her back on the ground Louise
gripped at her sides, which by this point were aching from the strain of laughter. This only succeeded in angering him even more.
Puffing out his
chest and raising his shoulders comically, Hernando yelled out finally, "Stop laughing at me!"
At that moment, he dove at her,
tackling her and pinning her to the ground before rolling down the slight hill they had been sitting on.
Upon reaching the bottom, they
rolled off of each other and back into the grass.
noticed that Louise was still laughing, though by now it was dying down.
Her laughter had changed to more or less barely suppressed
giggles as she stared, wide eyed up at the star filled sky. coming out of his shell, Hernando too began laughing.
After a good 2
minutes of simply laughing and staring at the sky, Hernando finally turned to his best friend and said, "But tell me the truth.
think I'll ever really get out there?" Tearing her gaze away from the dark, endless expanse of space above, Louise turned to look at her friend.
Every physician that
Hernando's parents had hired to examine their son had brought back the same result, his condition was bad and growing worse.
almost as if his immune system was simply slowly shutting itself off, as if someone had flipped a switch.
This of course left his body
wide open to any disease that might pass his way.
She knew that
Hernando was aware of the gravity of the situation as well, and even she couldn't make a joke on it.
Releasing a sigh she turned her
attention back towards the stars and said, "Yeah Nan, I think you will."
She turned back to him, a smile on her face as she said,
"Your not just gonna fly bud, your gonna soar.
The other pilots will
take one look at you and talk about how your the best pilot the fleets have ever seen.
Just you wait and see."
Hernando heard her words, but somehow, he couldn't believe them, there was just a sinking feeling that she was saying these things for his benefit.
He was dying, that's all there was to it.
sure, but dying nonetheless.
In his body's weakened state, it was
only a matter of time before some virus or bacteria came along and finally did the deed.
By this point, it was taking bigger and bigger
doses of antibiotics and medication to take effect.
It was as if,
each little cold, each cough, each headache was just pushing him closer and closer to the end. "I'm ten years old Lou. dying.
His eyes fixated on the stars he said,
Ten year old's shouldn't be thinking about
Why is the world so upside-down?"
close to tears.
He could feel himself
Even if whatever was doing this to him did cause his
death, he wasn't afraid to die anymore.
It just didn't scare him and
this is obviously something no ten year old should feel. "Your not going to die Nan."
Rebutted Louise in a blank,
emotion free voice. "But how do you know that?" to look over at his friend.
Said Hernando, sitting bolt upright
Louise simply smirked in response and said, "Because I decided your not." Hernando sighed and lay back down, a stab of pain flying through his mid section from where he had sat up too quickly, "Things don't happen just because you say they do Lou." Louise was not a fan of the current conversation, and therefore, in an effort to change it, she pointed directly upwards, at one of the brightest stars she could see and said, "Hey Nan, your good with this stuff, can you tell me that star?
The one right there, where
I'm pointing." She was right, he was good with astronomy, not just good, obsessed.
Looking up at where she was pointing, he saw the star, a
tiny orange dot in a sea of black. "That's Draconis I think.
Looking back over to her he said,
There's a planet there and it's a gas
giant, which the A.U.S. Has more or less surrounded with mining stations.
He was confused, why would she suddenly be so
interested in one particular star, and why that star specifically? Louise pulled herself back into a sitting position and pulled her legs to her chest, wrapping her arms around them she turned to Hernando and said, "Then on Draconis, it's gas giant and all it's mining stations, I swear to you, your going to fly."
She smiled at
him, seeing his bewildered look, and breaking once again out into laughter. He was dumbstruck, how could she be so thick headed? assumed that the universe bent to her will.
But whose to say it
She was one of the most determined people Hernando had ever
Maybe she really could force the universe to do her
With a sigh he folded his legs up to his chest like her and
peered towards the sky saying, "You know, maybe your right Lou. trust you, and when I'm humanity's hero, I'll send you a postcard from Earth."
He burst out laughing, only to receive yet another
stab-like punch to the arm.