Click here to read the first few stories in the tale of “The Sweet Cherry Incident.” (Just scroll down.)
It’s said, “History is the greatest teacher,” but this can’t be. Great teachers are heeded, prophets aren’t. It should be, “History is the greatest Prophet.”
V. Shnodgrate, Renowned PL Poet
So, Manly-Man was going to the be the pilot of my intergalactic flight.
Of course, maybe he was just wearing the pilot uniform for kicks and giggles.
There was hope, see.
The White Tree of Gondor. You didn’t know hope was symbolized by a white flower, did you? Neither did I. Peter Jackson, you visionary.
Anyways and a few, I reached Space Dock 10.
See, once you get to the dock, you get in line–a long line–and you start making your way up to the docking station.
The line moves like a tiny crawler. Very slow. In fact, so slow, you think you’re barely moving at all.
There’s not much talking–which is a surprise, you must admit. Everyone is sorta hushed. (Their nervousness hushed them up, I bet.)
Plus, there’s a loudspeaker that’s constantly going, in a monotonous voice, too:
Once you reach the docking platform, please be patient while Intergalactic Flight 10 is prepared for launch. Make sure to stow any carry-ons in the net below your seat. If it doesn’t fit, sorry, you’ll have to lose it, bub.
Sorta what the line looked like. Only we were going up and up, see. The lighting was pretty much the same.
And so on.
The wait wasn’t too bad, overall, see. There were huge flat screens throughout the line that showed all sorts of interesting footage. Mostly nature footage. With a few waterfalls thrown in.
I suppose it was a calming effect. The professor is already so calm, though, see.
Eventually, we made it to the docking station.
The voice was still going, but I ignored it.
Here’s the thing: Voices that keep going and keep saying the same things, should be ignored, see.
If you have to say the same thing over and over, it must not be important. #ProfessorLesson
Plus, there were attendants everywhere, making sure we got the things that needed done, done. Somehow–and I’m not sure how–we were all split up into individual launch groups, and lined up in front of many doors. The doors all had the number 10 glowing (in yellow) above them, but other than that, the room was completely dark. (There were some blue and purple LED lights that lit up the floor, though.)
No one was talking now.
This professor was nervous. But then, I’m always nervous about something. Dadblameit. Wait, no. I’m calm. Calm. That’s it. Can’t be contradicting myself.
Tick tock went the clock.
“That’s the worst part, too,” a girl said behind me, as if she was having speaks with herself.
So, okay. This lady was very nervous.
She was perspiring lots, see, and quite jumpy. Every time there was a noise–a cough, laugh, or some such thing–she’d jump, and wipe her stringy brownish-red hair from her eyes.
Her round glasses were fogging up, too, which reminded me of an invention that I’d come up with but hadn’t invented yet. (Isn’t that just it? We’re all inventors. But what separates us from the real ones is that we never invent what we imagine.)
Glasses that came complete with…windshield wipers!
Anyways, I said: “What’s the worst part? Don’t worry about it, madam. These flights aren’t bad at all.”
I lied. This was my first intergalactic flight, see. Well, I didn’t lie, I suppose. Maybe stretched the truth a little–which is good for it. Makes the truth more elastic, see. Then it can be what anyone wants it to be. *nods*
She shook her head and hugged her huge briefcase closer to her small body.
“No, no,” she said, “not the launch. Launches are easy.”
Then her pained and worried expression broke, and she laughed.
“But I can tell that this is your first! No one who’s been on them before call’s them flights. They’re launches. As you’ll soon see.”
Our conversation was interrupted at that moment.
There was a loud ding, and then the voice returned:
When the launch door opens, proceed to your launch chair. Stow items in the basket below the seat. Good launch to you.
Another ding, and the door opened.