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The Amazing Flight of Aaron William Hawk

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Summary

This is the story of a young boy with an overwhelming passion for flying. that will lead him to discover a magical wing and a new amazing adventure. Did you ever have a dream where you could leap into the sky, and just fly? Such a dream lives inside Aaron Hawk, and he’s determined to make it a reality. However, after his attempt to pilot his huge kite high into the sky, ends in near disaster, Aaron’s life changes but his love for flying does not. Adding Fuel his passion, however, is a long-forgotten fable, as told to Aaron by a crazy old aviator, about a mythical island which is home to an academy, where he can learn to fly like a bird. But Aaron’s lingering doubts about the existence of this mysterious place, soon disappear when he finds a magical map along with an enchanted compass. Soon strange and unexplainable things begin to happen in his world and Aaron will learn that passion has a price.

Genre:
Fantasy / Adventure
Author:
jbruno
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
16
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Into The Vast Nothing

His open shirt billowed as he slid the last bolt into the hole, joining together two bamboo poles. He then secured the nut along with the metal tang that held the wire rigging in place. Aaron’s huge kite was now fully assembled. He stepped back and smiled with the pride of a craftsman.

“Not bad,” he said to himself. Several days of hard work and shes' done.

The strong winds here atop the hill they called Morpheus, made for a very blustery summer morning. As if on cue, a gust of wind began to lift the massive craft.

Like a shot, Aaron grabbed the nose of the bamboo framework with both hands and held on tight to prevent the great wing from sailing away. It was all his five-foot two-inch, fifteen-year-old physique could do the keep it on the ground.

“Geez, it’s like trying to wrangle a dragon.” He groaned. A moment later, the wind settled, and Aaron felt as if he had tamed the beast, for now.

Though he had patterned the kite’s design from pictures he found in a Popular Mechanics Magazine, Aaron built this monster all by himself. He used the simplest of materials; Bamboo, clear plastic sheeting, baling wire, a few nuts and bolts, and lots and lots of duct tape. That was pretty much it.

Its arrowhead shaped structure measured twice Aaron’s outstretched arms, and its length was three times his height. Plenty of wing to carry a young dreamer far across the valley to the distant sandy shore. Or so he believed. Because on this day, Aaron William Hawk will learn to fly.


Perched alone with his wing, high atop Morpheus Hill, Aaron gazed at the emerald green patchwork of farmland and open fields that lay some five hundred feet below and stretched almost to the ocean, several miles to the Southeast. To Aaron however, it seemed like a gazillion miles away.

The trade winds continued to roll through the tall stalks of wild grass like waves upon the ocean as it surged up the steep slope of the hill.

A little windier than I hoped but not too bad, he thought as the breeze tussled his long hair.

Taking in his surroundings, Aaron scanned the distant patchwork of farmland. The pail wash of the morning haze made the valley seem vast, and unreal. And with his game plan now firmly fused in his head, the lofty hilltop seemed a little intimidating. His heart revved. But Aaron loved this spot. It was a hill he had climbed often. He would spend much of his free time up here alone, watching with envy as the gulls drifted in slow spirals upon columns of uprising air. But what’s more, Aaron believed with all his heart that this hill was a place close enough to the heavens where his dreams just might come true.

Aaron took a deep breath and crouched beneath the kite sail and positioned himself into its cockpit framework, a cockpit in the loosest of terms. It was merely two parallel bamboo poles wrapped with foam rubber and electricians’ tape, by which he would hang precariously by his armpits while his legs dangled freely. By swinging his legs too and fro, thus shifting his weight, he could control the great wing. At least that was the plan.

He grasped the two poles firmly…then.

“Hmph,” he groaned as he hefted the kite’s forty-some-odd pound framework off the ground, nesting the padded poles tightly beneath his armpits. The kite’s sail snapped and whipped wildly as if protesting winds constant taunting. Aaron lowered his gaze to the ground while he carefully sidestepped along the hill’s uneven terrain, searching for the best possible launching spot. Suddenly a rogue gust delivered a solid uppercut to the winged craft, tipping Aaron back on one leg.

“Whoa baby, hang on!” As if it were alive, the kite responded and lowered its nose into the wind. But thoughts of a terrible disaster quickly crept in like a monster trying to push its way into his dreams. Beads of sweat trickled down his chest and back, spotting his shirt. He gnawed on his lower lip as images of a vicious cross winds throwing him into the bone-crunching rocks below, swam like a shark below the surface of his imagination.

“I could be in my room building my model airplane and listening to my shortwave radio,” he said under his breath. And though Aaron had studied hard and planned every detail of his voyage, at this moment, he felt utterly unprepared. He drew a deep breath and narrowed his eyes as he centered his attention on the waves of wind that rolled through the wheat fields far beyond. Aaron was doing his best to calculate the speed and timing of the prevailing winds.

A burst of wind raked through his hair and billowed open his shirt. A glint of silver caught his eye. He glanced down at the medallion emblazoned with the image of Icarus that dangled from his neck chain. He remembered his twelfth birthday when his father had given it to him along with the inscription on the back. “Just fly.” He had not taken it off since.

Out of the blue, Aaron recalled the poem his father had scribed in the card, along with the medallion. He liked it so much, he had committed it to memory. It became his Mantra.

“Take a deep breath in the face of your fear. Spread your broad wings and embrace the winds of your dreams for they will guide your spirit and fill your soul. Don’t look down but always out and ever beyond... and just fly.”

He looked to the horizon as he thought of the schoolmates he had left behind and the friends he longed for. The class of ’74 would not be the same in his new school, in this strange town. But most of all, he missed his father.

Aaron tightened his lips and leveled his gaze.

“This one’s for you, Pop.” His voice quivered.

He refocused his attention on a small length of orange ribbon he had tied to a pole near the nose of the kite to act as a sort of wind sock. It danced lively in the breeze. The winds now seemed just right.

Aaron’s mouth turned to cotton as his eyes narrowed. Sweat poured down his temple. His jaw clenched as his blood barreled through his veins like some wild flume ride. Everything he knew, everything he studied about flying was now in the forefront of his mind. Aaron drew a ragged breath and swallowed hard just as a voice inside his head breathed…

Go.

”Now, NOW!” He shouted.

At that moment desire overcame all. Aaron lunged forward, and before he knew it, he was running with his kite, full tilt into the wind and down the grassy slope.

“WOOOHAAAA!” A tribal yell emanated from somewhere deep in his soul. The kite’s plastic sail flapped wildly in its headlong charge. Its bamboo poles jounced and quaked with each stride. Aaron’s heart went into overdrive as a million thoughts rocketed through his mind in a jumbled blur.

Then…

—KA-POP—

Its spirit awoke. In one burst the kite’s sail billowed outward, capturing the full force of the wind. Its framework bent like an archer’s bow and Aaron took one last step…into the vast nothing.


His sneakers briefly skittered over the tips of the tall grass and a breathless hollow formed in the pit of his stomach as the hillside fell away. Above the underbrush, he rose, over the bushes, over the berms, above the trees, and into the open blue.

Suspended by his armpits, legs dangling free, Aaron could feel immense forces lifting him higher. He couldn’t help but look up at the great wing. It felt as if some mythical giant had lifted him skyward. He cast his gaze down and took notice of the kite’s angular shadow as it raced along the undulating hillside. He could hear the kite’s untried frame creak as it flexed while it gently swayed along its skyward path. And as he rose into the blue, the weighty chains of his life seemed to fall away. He felt free. Now, only this moment mattered, this very moment. It was almost as if he had passed into another world.

The kite felt alive and agile, almost weightless as he threw his legs to one side then another to correct its heading.

As he ascended, the passing landscape seemed to slow to a gentle gait and time slowed with it. His fear was now replaced by pure adrenalin driven excitement. His heart shifted into a smoother rhythm and Aaron was able to collect his thoughts.

“Holy cow this thing is really flying...and not too bad if I do say so myself.”

The sail made a puttering sound as the air funneled from its trailing edge. And though he had not anticipated the effect, Aaron quickly figured this sound was giving him a sense of relative airspeed or at least that he was within some margin of safety, not too slow not too fast. Strangely, it also gave him a sense of calm and control. Any lingering doubts about his craftsmanship had all but vanished. His kite was rigid, agile and responsive. He felt secure, as if in the arms of a god.

“There’s nothing up here. Nothing, nothing to crash into,” Aaron said. “Have to keep my weight at the center. Keep her balanced and she’ll fly Straight and level.”

A shiver coiled through his flesh as the morning air evaporated his sweat. Ooff that’s cold, like stepping from a warm shower and into an arctic breeze, without a towel. Aaron, however, was utterly captivated with the fluid sensation of gliding to pay much attention to the cold.

Man, this is like surfing on a wave of pure liquid glass,Frikin’ Awesome! He thought as his shirt flapped in harmony with the kite’s sail.

“Pop would be proud,” he said loudly. Suddenly he felt a weight in his heart as he remembered the weekend trips he and his dad used to take when they would fly their Cessna to a distant lake to go camping or deliver some parts to another airport.

Flying means everything to Aaron. It was also his father’s passion, a shared passion. You could say the sky was in their blood. However, since his fathers’ death last year, everything changed. A new town, a new school, a new life for him and his mother, thanks to a little help from his uncle Chet. But it all seemed to happen too fast. His life now looked like a jumbled mess, and this kite was the only thing that made sense to him. It had structure and order, and it was the only thing that helped him forget the friends he left behind.

Aaron’s special venture, however, had to take place in an old abandon garage he discovered only a few blocks from his house, mainly because he knew for a fact his mother wouldn’t approve of his—wickedly cool project. Fortunately, the grimy, grungy and smelly old garage was home to enough rats, spiders, and cobwebs, to keep his mom and perhaps even the Justice League away. And since his mom’s job at the diner made for long hours, Aaron wasn’t too worried about her finding out.

“Two weeks of hard work finally done and now …airborne”

Suddenly a crosswind shoved the little kite like a schoolyard bully. Aaron snapped to attention. His instincts caused him to throw his weight to one side to correct his position. It worked.

Now high above the valley, He squinted toward the horizon and zeroed in on a thin band of silver that marked the distant sea. It looks like it’s about five miles away. But in the meantime, Aaron did what any good pilot would do, he hunted for potential landing areas along the way.

Hmm…I could put down over by Murphy’s pond if I had to, but I have to be careful of Hardwick’s woods. Don’t want to get caught up there. He thought as he scanned the valley through the milky morning haze. He then caught sight of a flock of gulls in the distance, drifting in lazy circles as they spiraled upwards.

“Looks like they found some lift. That’s a good sign.”

The kite buffeted abruptly as the slopes of nearby Mt. Credo provided some strong updrafts. It startled Aaron, and he quickly snapped his attention back to the orange yarn tied to the front of the craft. It held stiff in the breeze.

Straight and level and I’ll be fine. He reminded himself.

Aaron’s glide path was bringing him over Port Reedley, a sleepy little fishing village where he and his mother now call home. Somehow, from up here it looked less intimidating as often times, new towns seem. But Port Reedley is still not a place where Aaron felt welcome, at least not now.

His craft had risen ever higher, higher than the surrounding hills, higher than even the local water tower. With the village far below, he could see early risers as they drove about, doing errands, going here and there.

“That looks like Miss. Henderson smoke spewing car, probably heading over to help out at the church.” He grinned. From this vantage point, the town seemed like a strangely realistic toy.

He was pleasantly surprised that he could smell the aroma coming from the local bakery.

But why not, he thought. I’m not sealed up in the cockpit Cessna. I’m out in the open sky…wild and free. His mouth began to water as the smell of freshly baked pastry became more intense.

“Oh man, I gotta go get me some donuts to celebrate when I get back.”

A young girl skateboarding in an empty schoolyard took notice of the flying oddity in the morning sky. Aaron’s eyes locked onto her as he flew over. She slowed her ride, hopped off her board and cocked her head in wonderment. She then began waving wildly, shouting something that got lost in the space between them. Aaron could only nod and as he sailed on. A boy riding a bicycle, delivering papers also paused and looked up then pointed.

“Oh my god,” whispered Aaron. “I’m Superman.”

“I’M SUPERMAN! WOO HOO!” he shouted.

He continued towards the thin band of the seashore in the distance.

“It’ll be a long walk home, but it’ll be worth it.”

Beyond the village Aaron could see Hardwick’s woods.

“Wow, the trees look like bushes. Man, I must be at least a thousand feet up.” Aaron was good at estimating his altitude, having taken all those trips in his father’s plane, but this time he was in control.

He sailed along with the gentle rise and fall of the atmospheric currents, happily gazing about, when he caught a shadow of something just off to his right, the broad wings of a black hawk drifting slowly towards him, no doubt to investigate this odd invader of his domain. The majestic bird flanked his right side.

“Hello!” Aaron shouted brightly. “Nice day for flying wouldn’t you say? Ha!” He glanced around. “So, find any good air currents today?” The hawk barely took notice, cocking his head to give Aaron a sidelong look as if to say amateur. With a few graceful strokes of his wings, the bird flew on.

In all his excitement, Aaron almost failed to notice that the wind had fallen silent and the kite was stalling out. His left wing dropped considerably, sending him into a full-on nose down spin. Aaron’s eyes grew wide. His heart pounded.

“Aw Crap, THIS IS BAD!” He shouted.

Below him, all he could see Hardwick’s woods, its thick groves of trees growing larger as he approached. The deafening wind roared past Aaron’s ears and made his eyes water. The kite’s sail thrashed violently, threatening to shred under the ever-increasing forces. He threw his weight as far back as he could. He arched his back until his muscles wrenched with pain, but the craft continued its downward plunge. Aaron’s heart trashed inside his chest as he thought all is lost. Suddenly, with a loud POP, the kite’s sail filled with air and its nose began to rise. Its entire bamboo frame bowed and creaked as the craft slowly pulled out of the deadly dive. But there are no air breaks, and Aaron was going way too fast to land. There was no way to bleed off speed other than to gain altitude.

“HOLD TOGETHER BABY, PLEEEEEEASE!” Aaron’s words strained. The speeding craft slowly leveled out just above the treetops. Their upper branches streaked beneath his shoes like a freight train at full speed. Aaron squinted to regain focus through watering eyes. Then he spotted an ominous sight; A massive limb atop a large old oak tree looming dead ahead. It was like the gnarred appendage of some mythical creature whose huge claw-like hand, frozen high in the air for hundreds of years with the promise of one day capturing its prey. Quickly he tucked his legs up as tightly as he could.

SWOOSH! The limb missed his buttocks, barely. Up and over the oak he flew. The kite slowed down considerably as it climbed but it was on the verge of stalling out…again. He nosed downward to gain airspeed. Suddenly Aaron found himself swallowed up by an opening within the dense forest of trees. The kite’s sail flapped loudly like a motorboat as he rocketed through the clearing just inches above the carpet of ferns. He quickly realized that he was surrounded by a wall of massive oak trees. Their twisted trunks rose high above him. Their mazy interlocking branches imprisoned him in this cavernous clearing.

No escape, no escape! He had to think fast.

He threw his legs forward, dropping the nose and rocketing just above the downward slope of the hill. With lightning speed, he assessed the terrain, then aimed for a small clearing near the trunks of the trees, with just enough space between them for his craft.

Aaron bolted just inches above the ground. His breath trapped in his lungs as he twisted and contorted his body, banking the kite left then right then left again. Zig-Zagging, he threaded his way through the giant chessboard of trees with all the grace and skill of an Olympic skier.

“Oh, a patch of blue!” he called out. He quickly shifted his weight and aimed the kite’s nose upward to a small open portal of sky. He darted through safely. The hillside fell quickly away. He leveled the kite. The wild fury began to calm, and the wind hushed to a reasonable volume. He glanced over his shoulder and caught sight of the tree-cloaked hillside as it departed into the hazy blue.

Aaron released his trapped breath. “Holy God,” he sighed. With his attention now refocused on his journey forward, he shook his head. A victorious grin drew slowly across his face.

“Thought you had me, Uh?” He called to the emptiness around him.

With our warning, a crosswind buffeted the craft. The air grew warm and he could feel pressure building inside his ear. Huh? He tilted his head. The he felt a subtle tug of gravity as the kite ascended.

“Thermal,” he breathed. Well, this isn’t so bad, he thought. This could give me the altitude I need to make it to the beach. He threw his legs to the side to make the kite orbit within the bubble of rising air.

Suddenly…

CRAAACCKLLE

The heart-stopping noise just above his head sent a shock wave through his body.

“Holy GOD! What was that?” suddenly he was aware just how much sky was between him and the ground. The century-old trees looked like bushes, and roads were ant trails. Fear enwrapped him like a boa, stealing the wind from his lungs.

A thousand thoughts spun through his head.

Maybe the trees had done some damage, or the lifting forces of the thermal were too much for the kite. Whatever the reason, it did not matter now. Aaron feared the frameworks crossbar was about to fail. Then…with a sickening SNAP, the pole gave way, and like a butterfly’s wing, the entire craft folded in half.

The kite plunged earthward. Its plastic sail flapped uncontrollably. The winds roared past Aaron’s body. He froze in place. A misty tunnel encircled his vision as sparkles of light danced in front of him, then quickly dissipated. His thoughts emptied into nothingness as he watched the spinning ground approach.



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