Story Go Round 10/29/2005, round 1, #3

Full Moon Airlines

The World War I biplane looked ready for a cleaning. It was normally taken out of the barn once a year for a thorough washing and lubing. This was not that occasion - but Myrtle was never one to have people think she "let things go." Myrtle put on her grungies, rubber gloves and climbed up on the plane wing. She saw a leather cap and goggles on the pilot's seat. Wouldn't it be grand to take a turn about the sky - it would be so refreshing. And she'd only been warned not to fly the mysterious machine past dusk, It needed to have the gunk cleaned out of the engine, didn't it? She scrubbed and scrubbed. At length, she lay down in the cockpit for a nap. Slowly, her knee sagged as slumber took her, until it caused her foot to touch the accelerator, and ever so subtlely, the plane began to inch forward. With the barn doors ajar, the biplane nosed them open gently and trundled clumsily into the lane. Myrtle stirred

A voice squawked on the radio speaker. "Thank you for picking Full Moon Airlines, your flight to HELL! The plane lifted off swinging around crazily, sending the chickens scattering and narrowly missing the tool shed. Myrtle tried to take her foot off the accelerator, but a skeleton hand held it tight! A blood-curdling cream ripped through the placid rural scene. Myrtle tried to find its source, but saw too late - realized it was her own voice. It stopped when the other skeleton hand found her throat. It wasn't where she remembered it, at least, parts of it weren't. Then she spotted the sign on the floor that said "In case of skeleton hands, break glass."

She tried to reach for it, but a skeleton dog bit her hand and growled, snapping it around. Just when hope seemed lost the plane jerked just a little. The boney parts didn't know what this signified, but Myrtle put it together. No one had refueled this ole boy in month of Sundays and gasoline don't just jump out of the can and into the tank - no sir! She waited for the next lurch and grabbed for the little mallet just next to the sign. She got it between two fingers, but when she tried to close her fist around it, the biplane went into a triple roll. Skeleton hands, car keys, old goggles, and skeleton tails were flying everywhere. Myrtle managed to keep her seat and her head, and after passing the Jonston's house and the old, abandoned cemetery, wrested the controls out of the semi-possessed planes hold. Once stabilized, she took the mallet and smashed the glass panel. Picking carefully through the shards, she pulled out the rose boutaneer and pinned it on her bosom. Struck by her good taste, the skeleton hand relaxed. The other one soon followed suit, but forgot to clamp onto something else and was thrown from the plane the next time it rolled. It waved good-bye as they sped on down the gravel road and into town.

Myrtle opened her tray table and the last skeleton hand evaluated its chances. It figured the best approach was the direct one. It served her a platter steaming with a small lump of something brown, two plastic packaged, and a Butterfinger.

"Good boy," Myrtle said to the hand, taking a chomp from the candy. The skeleton dog watched hungrily from her feet. Carving a slice of the meat that looked like beef but cut like wax, Myrtle flicked it to the little pooch. It pounced on it excitedly, but couldn't eat it.

Sput, sput.

Sputter, sputter.

The biplane eased to a halt.

Then fell straight down, like an anvil, leaving a cartoon-like outline of a biplane in space where it had been. Myrtle grabbed at the ignition and turned the skeleton key in it, but nothing happened. Slightly concerned now, Myrtle looked up in time to see the ejected skeleton hand still waving goodbye, outlined by the full moon.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange