Friday, April 23, 2010

Writing London's Savior

A response to Suzanne Young's "Friday Funday" in Flashy Fiction.

Playing hooky from his classes so he could finish the story, he had lost track of the day. The Catholic school tower's bell rang six times. Bastian ran to the window to look out on the empty schoolyard. On the horizon, he saw six dots growing larger as they approached until they became more than dots growing wings to become heavy wide-bodied planes.

Bastian's back itched as he wondered about the coincidence. Returning to the book, he looked at the last paragraph. Six Russian bombers coming to bomb London at 6 p.m. as the streets were filled with workers heading to the subway anxious to get home to their families. Bastian turned the page. It was blank. Right in the middle of the story, it just stopped. Bastian looked out the window and the bombers grew larger, he couldn't let them drop their bombs. His parents would be one of those commuters making their way home, even Sister Mara who chided him for missing class didn't deserve to die.

Bastian searched through the chairs and desks, stacked one upon the other, that lined the attic walls until he found a stubby pencil and raced back to the open book. He wrote, "A boy hiding in St. Mary's attic watched the bombers approach. Behind him, his jet fighter -- a red bloodthirsty mouth painted on its nose -- waited hungrily as Bastian pressed the button that dropped the attic wall."

Bastian looked up from the book and discovered that he was standing at the edge of the attic as wind blew against his face smelling like rain. He turned back and there was the jet fighter just as he had imagined it. He climbed in the pilot seat and played with the controls. His heart beat fast as the fighter leaped into the air towards the Russian bombers. They'd already dropped their first set of bombs and Bastian chased a bomb through the air firing on the whistling bomb that dropped towards the London rooftops. His bullets hit the bomb exploding it in a brilliant flash of light that receded behind him. Over and over he repeated this catching all of the bombs before they hit the ground. He turned his jet fighter around and chased the bombers away from flying over London. Once, they were over farmland, he shot them down. However, it took two passes and at the end the Russian ace arrived. Too late to save his countrymen from Bastian's guns.

Their battle lasted all night bullets and missiles flying over the Thames and lighting the sky up like firecrackers. Until as the first light of dawn scratched the skies, Bastian, sweat stinging his eyes, pulled the trigger and managed to strafe the fuselage of the Russian ace's plane. Fuel spilled out as the Russian ace fled British airspace.

Bastian wanted to chase the Russian ace but glanced at his watch realizing that he would be late for Sister Mara's class. With a last longing look, he watched the Russian fade into the distance.

He landed the jet in the attic, and instead of closing the wall he flipped off his helmet and leaped out the hangar door catching the flagpole below him turning in a flip and landing before Michaela.

He smiled at her ready to regale her with tales of how he had saved London. Thinking about all these months that he'd had a crush on her and not once spoken to her, it would change now.

Looking at her green eyes and knowing that once he had told her his story she would take his hand in hers and they would walk to class together, he tripped over the sidewalk and blinked to find himself lying on the attic floor with a beat up pencil in his hands, the tip irrevocably broken. The bell rang to start Sister Mara's class.

Next time he'd be prepared with a backup pencil.


  1. Poor Bastian - ah, the number of classes I was late for because I was too busy starring in a movie... This so perfectly captures the experience of the daydreamer (and the trouble it can get you into!). Love it. (P.S. Hope Sister Mara is much kinder to Bastian than Sister Winifred ever was to me!!)

  2. Really nice. Daydreaming's been my downfall on many occasions.

    Loved this story.