Final flight by Gary Hewitt

Tony chucked in a coin. Penny after penny, day after day. No reward except clanking metal from the bandit. He walked away with no bus fare. At least it the sun still smiled. He watched a boy secure himself in a phoney plane. It began a laborious ascent up the rusty ramp. The flight halted short of the prize line. The gears cranked and the pilot returned. He looked at the golden chocolate rabbit and asked his Mum if they could return tomorrow. 

“No, it’s a con, Mark. Never mind, Mummy will buy you chocolate later.”

Tears formed, no protest came. Mother and daughter disappeared.

“What’s your problem?” the stall keeper asked Tony.

“It’s rigged. I’ve never seen it pay up and you keep stealing from these poor kids.”

“Hey, that’s not fair, we’ve given out ten golden rabbits this week.”

“I’m supposed to believe that?” snorted Tony.

“Why would I lie. I tell you what, you have a go?”

“Damned if I’m paying three shillings.”

“You don’t have to. First one’s on me.”

“I won’t fit in there.”

“Give it a try.”

Tony looked at the trophy cabinet stuffed with golden rabbits. Their advertising said biting into the chocolate released a velvet marsh of luxury to the taste buds. He glared at the beaten up red plane and tossed himself into the pilot seat. He settled and the stallholder pulled several levers.

The plane accelerated. Tony relaxed. He braced for the inevitable shudder yet flew straight to the golden target. 

“Well I never. Congratulations young man, you’ve won a rabbit. Care to go again?”

“How much?”

“One shilling for you. Come on, you’re on a roll.”

The plane reversed back down the ramp. Tony tossed the man a shilling and seized his golden rabbit. 

“Check under your seat. There’s something you should put on.”

Tony discovered a leather helmet and a pair of goggles. 

“You expect me to wear these?”

“Come on, it adds to the fun or are you just a bore?”

Tony adorned his new regalia.

“If you win twice in a row, you claim everything. The whole caboodle. Good luck.”

The plane lurched. The golden target approached and victory. Tony punched the sky. The plane accelerated.

“Hey, what’s happening. Jesus, I’m running out of ramp.”

The plane burst through the protective barrier. Tony awaited his demise yet his ascent continued. He looked below. The stallholder leapt in excitement whilst pointing at his departing customer.

On an on the plane flew before levelling out. Clouds of forgetfulness claimed him.  Great ocean grey giants stared up at the flying boy. Grey blocks of metal streamed back and forth and great gamuts of smoke came from their front. He yelled when a pile of steaming metal passed all too near. 

The plane altered trajectory and descended at incredible speed towards the metal titans. A rat-a-tat racket burst from both wings and to Tony’s astonishment one ship erupted in flame. One after another went the same until all were heaps of dying smoke. The plane continued onwards. He thought of Amsterdam.

Machine gun fire opened up on all flanks. One pierced the fuselage. No loss in impetus though. A gigantic array of guns and cannons awaited. Great boats with men running frantically to and fro pointed to the crimson menace bearing upon them.

Nan’s house. Tony burst through the door, dashed up the stairs which seemed to go on forever. His Grandad awaited him and he burst past and dashed up yet more stairs to his Nan.

“Hello my lovely. You come for your vienetta?”

“Of course. So good to see you Nan.”

She held him close, so close as if she’d not seen him for so long.

They entered the living room and he ran to the window. Outside, all was misty, all was so quiet. Tony took his bowl of ice cream. The sky outside turned marmalade. It must have been five or six years since they said goodbye. 

“Come on lad, sit down. We’re not going anywhere. Nor are you.”

Gary Hewitt’s had a few tales and poems published in some guise over the years. He tends to write rather odd stuff. He also reads tarot and practices Reiki in the UK. Probably explains his strange imagination.