Challenge #01939-E115: Baby's First FlightsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction6 years ago


I'll spread my wings and learn to fl- oh, crap, sorry, I didn't mean to knock that over. I underestimated my wingspan. -- TheDragonsFlame

The thing about wings is, they're the largest part of any flying creature's anatomy. They have to be. In order to independently lift one's own body-weight, most of that weight has to be doing the heavy lifting. And if you're flapping to do it... well... there's a reason why the largest flying birds in the world employ the strategy of gliding for most of their flight time.

And flight muscles burn a lot of fat. You can't just paste wings onto human-like arms and expect them to act like an angel's. For a start, the leverage is all wrong. And all of these arguments were cycling around the engineering sections of Project Kymera. A combination Black-Ops and Sub-Rosa scientific project to create the Enlisted Man. Again. And like all projects of its ilk, it was doomed before someone even thought it was a good idea.

Even though these illegal science projects were part animal, they still looked a hell of a lot like human babies. And people do not, once the fecal matter hits the distribution device, want to kill babies. So the projects leaked into the world. All over the world. And the 'victims' of Project K found families in the scientists and staff who smuggled them out before the convenient laboratory fires. And this is why an undersized boy with bat genes is in a sleepy nowhere water-stop town called Bidawee.

Everyone calls him 'Drac' because of his dentition. Of all the things strange about Michael Kyle Fochs, the greater public picked his teeth. The scientists of his particular drafting board were experimenting with an aerial unit. And this is particularly hilarious because young Mike is terrified of heights. This in spite of extra limbs that are bat-like in nature, but only capable of helping him glide safely to the ground. With a little bit of twisting, he can fold them up in such a way that he can sit whilst they're hidden inside his clothing. Which, in turn, makes him hate Tourist Season more than anyone else in Bidawee.

His older sister, Michelle, who was the town's 'older Mike', had taken one look at her new, adopted sibling, and began plotting his first flight before he could even walk. Which, once you've listened to a few 'take flight' stories, may have been a contributing factor to young Mike's current terror.

That, and the fact that they were currently on the roof of the town pub. AKA the city centre.

"Thermals," said Michelle. "The roads hot as, right? So it's pushing hot air up and you can spread your wings and catch it."

Young Mike flinched away from her demonstrative grasp. He was four and did not like it when people just randomly grabbed his wings. "Don't wanna," he whined. "...'m'unna tell mum."

"Do you want them to drop off?" said Michelle. Bullshitting for all she was worth. "There's this thing? Where they locked up a bird's wings? When it was a chick? Until it grew up? And it was in a load of pain the whole time? And then when they unlocked it? The wings were black and they fell off." And since this didn't apparently terrify her baby adopted brother enough, she added, "And then the bird died screaming."

"...dun wanna," whimpered young Mike.

"I'm only trying to help," wheedled Michelle. "I don't want those wings dropping off because you'll die. And that's real bad. So you gotta use 'em before you lose 'em, Mickie."

"Mike," corrected young Mike.

"It's gonna be easier," cajoled Michelle. "The thermals will help you stay up. All you have to do is spread those wings and parachute down. Like those baby ducks on National Geographic."

"I'm not a duckling," argued young Mike.

"Dur. Yeah. I know. But there's nobody else like you ever, so we gotta use what we know to help you grow up big and strong."

The 'big and strong' did it. Young Mike knew that he was the smallest in his Prep classroom, and the smallest in the Prep playground. And there were other kids threatening to get their bigger sibling to squash him flat. "Okay," he sighed. "What do I gotta do?"

"Spread 'em out and jump off," Michelle shrugged.

"No! Mum'll spit. We're not even s'posed'a be up here."

"Do you trust me?"

Young Mike considered her history of trying to get him to fly by shoving him off high places. "No."

Michelle broke out the ultimate bribe. "If you do it I'll buy you a red drink and a pollywaffle."

"No shoving, but. Cross your heart?"

She did so, but young Mike took too long to psych himself up and she shoved him when his wings flexed outwards. He screamed all the way down, and his first official flight took him all the way along the main street. Where their mum got into his flight path to catch him.

"Michelle Therese Fochs!"

A distant figure on top of the pub said, "Oh poopies," and tried to hide behind the chimney stack. It wasn't the first time she got in trouble for her flight assistance, but it was the most entertaining.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / panuruangjan]

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