Transcendence | Teen Ink


August 20, 2013
By Zxarra GOLD, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
Zxarra GOLD, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
14 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
Earth without art is "eh"

Standing on the tarmac, she is almost unreal. Waves of heat rise in a sort of screen, causing her metal hull to shimmer. There is also the glare. I can’t stand to look at her for too long. I let my gaze fall to my feet.

There is a particular apprehension that goes with the boarding, a twinge in my gut; something in me protests that a bolt is loose or the fuel gauge is perilously incorrect. The feeling is a familiar one, even while I know that every inch of the machinery has been painstakingly checked and rechecked. It’s a process, beginning the moment that I wheel her out of storage and tear the protective sheet from her wings. Funny, but it always seems that they shake a bit, as if to emancipate themselves of the inevitable layer of dust and say “We’re ready. Let’s ride.” Her enthusiasm is contagious, but even then there is a part of me that looks at her and sees a thousand little metal pieces, each of which has the potential to struggle apart.

There’s no point in delaying. I plant my shoe on the platform and slide into the cockpit. There is a pleasing groan as I lean into the seat. I could almost just stay here, loll back and fly every flight she’s every taken me on behind my eyes. The summer heat is more diluted inside here, some of the sharpness deflected by her protective walls. In exchange, it pervades more of the empty space around me. Between the two of us, the hot air and I, we fill her completely.

She shakes me out of my reverie, positively humming. No, wait, I had forgotten that we are not alone on the pavement. Another little plane is taxiing past, winging in an arc as it turns onto the runway. I allow it to take off before starting up my own engine. Now she shudders for real, ecstatically. When I give her a bit of speed it seems that she surges forward, wheels spinning over the pavement a beat too fast. I must be remembering wrong; last flight season was almost a year ago now. That’s the thing with little planes. The ground always seems disconcertingly near. When you bank, your whole body is thrown to the side.

We are charging down the runway now, and I can feel the wheels bouncing over the pavement. She strains into the air, falls back, lifts again. My stomach is jumping along with her, although now it is due less to nerves than to the way my hands fit so eagerly around the controls. She shakes her tail and I feel the tingling beginnings of a laugh working its way up my throat.

Suddenly, she is shearing off from the ground at an exhilarating angle, nose pointing far up over the horizon. Up, up, and the clouds receive us like old, dear friends. Beneath, the ground is spinning away, letting us go.

Somewhere underneath the giddy rush there is the heavy presence of a realization. A warning. I can’t hear it. The wind is surging over me like a shroud. I am disconnected. From the Earth, from the thoughts people have down there. Something pokes at me to look down, look at the control panel where the thin red needles are swinging wildly. There is a limit to how high these little planes can go. There is a point at which we have to level out and fly forward, rather than upward. But now she and I are smearing the clouds into white ribbons on either side, they way we do in my dreams.

Somewhere, there is, at last, a justification for my fears on the ground. I think I left it behind. My eyes are glued to the sky. She is taking me higher.

The author's comments:
This was originally inspired by the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Obviously over the time I was writing it, the piece evolved into something very different.

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