Clear as a Cloudless Sky

It was a cloudless sky and there was a light breeze coming from the north west that rustled the corn just enough to be relaxing. Keith and Joe sat in the shade of a parasol outside the control tower of the little country air strip. To say control tower may have been a stretch as it was a little larger than a garden shed, but they referred to it as a control tower none the less.

In front of them, a fold out table held a game of dominoes, which laid untouched for hours. They sat back in folding chairs and sipped bottles of beers.

Keith slowly rocked back on his chair, ‘It’s a beautiful day’ he said absentmindedly.

Joe took a sip from his bottle.

Through the whispers of the corn they heard a slow whirring sound coming from the horizon and rose from their seats. Keith headed into the control tower to check on the CB radio, but returned after a few seconds shaking his head.

‘The radio’s on’ Keith said ‘Must’ve not bothered trying. Some people’

Joe sat back down.

A few seconds later they saw the plane low over the tree line. Barely skipping over the tallest tree, they looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

‘That’s flying mighty low’ Keith said as he turned and looked for the fire extinguisher.

Joe took another sip of his beer and watched the plane pitch and yaw as it came into land. With a thud the landing wheels made contact and the plane began to slow. They looked at each other, shrugged and then Keith sat down and turned towards the dominoes.

Expecting it to turn towards the small hangar, Joe handed Keith a clipboard but the plane stopped, and the engine cut. The wind picked up a little and they got a faint whiff of aviation fuel.

‘I’m hungry’ Keith said as he put the clipboard on the floor and made his way into the control tower. He came back with two packets of crisps and handed Joe a pack, who opened it and gestured towards the plane.

‘I know, I know. I don’t know why it’s stopped.’ Keith began to walk over to the plane.

From inside the radio crackled to life and a sound resembling speech could be heard. Keith turned around and headed back into the control tower. Joe could hear Keith muttering into the handset and turning the dial. He finished his crisps, crumpled up the packet and threw it under the table.

‘It’s no good’ Keith said, emerging, then resuming his walk over to the plane. Joe whistled and Keith turned to see Joe holding out binoculars. Keith took them and saw two figures in the plane wildly gesticulating. Keith nodded and sat back down.

The engine whirred into life and made a slow arc until it was facing the other way. It stopped for a second as the engine revved and Keith and Joe watched it bounce down the runway and take off the way it had come from.

‘Some people’ Keith said as got up and walked back into the control tower to get more beers.

He came back to find Joe standing. Keith handed him a bottle and then Joe nodded to where the plane had revved for take-off.

As clear as the cloudless sky sat a large bag.

Keith started walking again and Joe sat back down to look at the dominoes.

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