June Bugs (Part 6)

[Read first installment here]
[Read second installment here]
[Read third installment here]
[Read fourth installment here]
[Read fifth installment here]

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Chuck was going to die. There wasn’t another way around this. The engine had sputtered. An array of lights flickered across the control panel. An alarm rang. This was it. The only thing left for him to do–other than be graceful in his death–was to steer clear of the commotion below and preserve the lives of the valiant men and women.

“God save the queen!” he declared. Which, to anyone in the know, meant Bridget, his queen. His bride. His life.

He threw his weight to the left and sent the Mosquito Lite into a tailspin. Instinctively he maneuvered the controls down which meant that the machine itself was supposed to go up. Only it didn’t. Chuck was going to be sick. Could feel the acidic burn roaring up his windpipe. Clenching his teeth, his lips, he blew air out his nose. The burn seared his nose hairs. Caused his eyes to tear.

June of 2000. Three months after he married Bridget. Two years before they bought this estate. The couple lived in a single bedroom apartment in Red Bluff. He worked as a deputy. Bridget, at the time, worked as a sketch artist for the justice system, traveling up and down I-5 as needed. She worked a big case out of Lodi. He had doubles for the next two days. If it weren’t for the work, he’d have gone mad being away from his true love for so long.

The day before she returned, his only day off for the next five, he spent it preparing something special. Something exquisite. Something to herald his wife’s return. Make it that much more special. Show her how much he missed her. How much he appreciated her. How much he loved her. Money was no object. But then again, it was.

He stopped by to visit his pal, Oscar, who at the time owned his own shop. There, Oscar customized vehicles. His specialty, the hot dog mobile as he called them. The shop, therefore, was appropriately known as Oscar’s Wieners. Oscar was all ears when Chuck told his woebegone story. As he lamented, Oscar came up with an idea.
For the next eight hours the two worked arduously. And while Bridget started her trek home, they took their creation over to the apartment complex and hoisted it up on the rooftop of the four-story building. They didn’t have time for a test run. On Oscar’s way out he slapped Chuck on the back and said, “Well it’s do or die, buddy. Good luck.”

Chuck sat inside the thing for over an hour, his field glasses trained on the main road. When he saw Bridget’s dark blue Taurus rumbling his way, he readied himself. Threw his entire weight into pushing the wiener glider off the ledge. It swooped and soared. Caught the wind as it should. Pulls to the levers allowed him to guide it down over the roadway as the banner unfurled in his wake.

Except he got giddy. He’d seen Bridget look up. Saw the recognition on her face. Saw her beam. It’s what he didn’t see that got him into trouble.

He managed to avert the glider before crashing into the flagpole. However, the directional change he created in the wind current sent the banner whipping towards the pole. The eddies churned and once the banner’s tail slipped around the pole, it began winding itself. The glider yanked back against the pull of the banner.
Without an engine, his simplistic controls were worthless. The glider lost its momentum and began plummeting to earth. He may have screamed while he tried to push-off the bubble cover–which didn’t budge. He definitely screamed when he used his fist to hammer at the plexiglass–which didn’t budge.

That stupid joke about the last thing that goes through a bugs head popped into his own head. The punchline: his ass. Chuck thought for certain that he’d know first hand how that bug felt. And just when the earth came into view by a microcosm instead of generalized shapes, the wiener glider yanked back. It was like a giant hand came down and plucked him out of the air. The glider shot back up.

Dear lord, he might have said out loud. He knew what would come next. As soon as the glider lost momentum, it would shoot straight back down. Any chance of Bridget recovering his body was lost. He hoped she had a big enough soup tureen.

An ear popping whistle accompanied the return descent. When retelling the story, he would leave out the part about him sobbing as he slammed his eyes shut. Usually he said he faced death like a real Jedi. Eyes wide open. Beating his chest. Come at me bro! being his war cry.

The silence and stillness begged of him to open his eyes. When he did, he found himself staring at Bridget’s face. She had tears running down it, her mascara like deadly rivers trailing down her cheeks. With her, a crowbar. She wedged it in and pried off the bubble of plexiglass. Two seconds later both heard a horrific tearing noise. The banner had given out. The same banner that now hangs in their living room. The one with the heart ripped in half. “No, we never split up,” Bridget would explain when guests asked. “But in the seconds before that happened, I thought for sure my heart was going to break into a thousand little pieces.”

He couldn’t do that again to Bridget. He couldn’t break her heart again like before. And he wouldn’t. Because this time he had a back-up plan.

_________________________

Jake & Chuck’s Adventures is a weekly interactive never-ending story. You, the reader, can chime in at any time and leave ideas on where you want to see the story headed in the next issue. Make sure you sign up to be notified of when the next installment comes.

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Comments
  1. […] here] [Read third installment here] [Read fourth installment here] [Read fifth installment here] [Read sixth installment here] [Read seventh installment […]

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  2. […] [Read installment 1] [Read installment 2] [Read installment 3] [Read installment 4] [Read installment 5] [Read installment 6] […]

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  3. Red says:

    Love the storyline but some of the terms are just flat out hysterical. Thanks! Wiener glider?! ROFLMBO

    Liked by 1 person

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