featuring the bi-monthly serial novel: The Pilot, The Witch, and the Hitman:
The Pilot, the Witch, and the Hitman – Part 05
A fine mist dampened Ruth’s face as she handled a large head of broccoli looking for defects. Unable to find any brown spots, she leaned into the mist. The stinging coldness surprised her and she jumped back and hit a standalone basket of lemons, knocking a few onto the floor. No one else was around and she bent over slowly, hand on the cart, and picked them up, saying a Hail Mary that her back wouldn’t be sore tomorrow morning getting out of bed. She slid her hand down the side of her face. Her skin felt cleansed.
“I could always use some help,” she said quietly to herself. “Maybe Publix should include facials in their produce section.” Actually, at sixty-five, her face might not launch ships anymore, but it did make men of all ages stop, leer and admire, like the one Ruth saw standing near the oranges.
She set the head of broccoli in the cart, knowing that even if she had a few extra pounds around the middle, her legs had remained shapely. Without hose, she wore a skirt cut slightly above the knee and her thin sweater hid bare arms which she thought were getting fat.
When she returned the man’s stare he immediately looked away. “Men,” she mused, “shy and lustful.” Defiantly, she drove her cart right toward the gawker, who was ready to run.
Good Landings and Other Flying Adventures
I knew at the time of my uncle’s death that something important had been handed down to me—his love of flying. Two months later, at the age of twenty-six, I soloed in the same type of aircraft that he had owned: an unadorned, two-seat Cessna trainer. In twenty years I would be flying at 600 mph and two miles above the other traffic, working for a world-class company in the latest state-of-the-art jet. I believe my uncle would have smiled had he heard the air traffic controller ask us to begin our “reentry,” instead of the standard “descend and maintain….”
Alongside the sky’s drama I began to hear the human one and started to write, letting the happenstance of strangers, friends, new places, and ideas dovetail into American Sky.
My uncle never cared for the faster aircraft, like his one friend’s sleek, twin-engine ship that cruised at 200 mph. He was content to push through the air at half that speed in his Cessna 150. What’s important is he knew what made him happy. I’ve always prayed for that very same kind of wisdom.