PASTEL PIRATES. Short story, installment 2

After receiving an all expenses invitation to fly the Atlantic to view a collection of marine artifacts brought up from the wreck of a Pirate ship at a secret site off the coast off Cape Cod, I arrived a few days later at Boston’s Logan Airport jet-lagged and full of excitement.

My instructions were to catch a Cape Air flight for the last leg to Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod. I knew nothing of the town, or the people I was going to meet and only a little of the proposed project to build a world traveling exhibition. All I knew had been gleaned from my short conversation with a mysterious transatlantic man called Phil.

The Cape Air check-in desk in a small shed only a forty-minute walk from the rest of the airport was as I was to discover, about the same size at 8 feet long, as the aircraft which on the tarmac looked like a toy.
When we got out there, the pilot and a helper were trying to pummel my suitcase into a compartment in the wing. I wondered where they kept the petrol?
Inside were eight tiny passenger seats all of which were already occupied, as I discovered when we’d climbed the three midget steps into the plane. Once in I was surprised that the pilot, who I’d expected to be a child, beckoned me to come to the front and sit next-to him.
I inched my way over the laps and newspapers of the other passengers and smiling apologetically edged myself passed the levers and dials and cramped myself into the co-pilots seat. Having once been a school prefect and burdened with a sense of responsibility from birth, I wondered if I should tell him that I’d no idea how to fly a plane or even navigate, or wait until there was an emergency.

I think because it was raining as we taxied out to the runway, the pilot steered our dinky little plane underneath a full size jet- I presumed to stay out of the rain, I thought that was really smart. Then I read an engraved notice on a metal plate bolted to the dash that brought my familiar dread of flying flooding back into my stomach. It read, “ In the unlikely case one engine fails (there were two both about the size of small barrels of beer) increase the revs of the other one if it still works and pass the multi-denominational prayer sheets and glucose sweets to the passengers.”

Before take-off the pilot, who was chewing gum, ran through the safety drill; he said,
“Good afternoon and welcome to Cape Air flight 01 to Martha’s Vineyard,” someone from the rear interjected, “No, we’re going to Provincetown Brian.”
Unshaken, (which I found reassuring), he picked up on that and said,
“Excuse me, Boston.”
Another voice broke in from the back, I looked over my shoulder to the source, it was a woman reading a magazine. She didn’t look up as she spoke but I could tell it had been her.
“Brian, wake up we’re already in Boston”.
“Ok,” continued Brian rubbing his eyes as he looked round before checking a sheet on his clipboard, “Provincetown!” A small cheer and a ripple of applause went round the plane.
I looked at him and attempted a smile though my lips were twitching. He looked back straight faced and asked, “First time?” I said, “Yes, why?” He rolled his eyes and continued with the safety drill.
“There are, sorry is, one escape door in this plane, the one you came through.” No one was taking any notice apart from me. He continued,
“And the escape window which my friend here will operate, won’t you?” he said looking at me again.
“This one?” I asked, he nodded, I whispered, “It’s no bigger than a paperback book.” He looked into my eyes and narrowing his said,
“Do you like reading?”
I said that I did, he said, “So throw your book out first.”

There was snoring from the back.
“Ok that’s enough of that nonsense," he said." do you want some gum?” I nodded thanks. He said, “The co-pilots’ is stuck just under there.” I declined.
he said, ”Don’t worry kid, altitude kills bacteria.”

Then he went on the radio and as far as I could hear, spoke to a recorded voice that asked him to leave a message.

Soon we were perched at the end of runway 27, which was for small planes only (so the hand painted sign we passed between the parked trucks read)it looked unfinished judging by the piles of gravel about sixty feet away. No worries though- I told myself.

The Pilot focussed and put his newspaper down as he visibly tensioned. Then removed his gum and stuck it on the edge of the control panel next to a half eaten apple.
Now looking every inch the pilot, in his jeans, flip-flops, tattoos and earring (in the shape of a seagull), revved the engines, which I noticed screamed much like my grandmas’ vacuum cleaner when the bag was full.
Lights blinked, dials twitched as the little plane strained at its earthbound leash, then, as raindrops between wiper wipes spelled out the word, “NO!”, he released the hand-brake, and we lurched forward!

(*End second installment of Pastel Pirates)

PASTEL PIRATES. Short story, installment 2

John Sunderland

New York, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

Second installment of my strange
descent into Piracy of a different hue!

Artwork Comments

  • sandraellen
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  • John Sunderland
  • sandraellen
  • John Sunderland
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