SORTIE 1 OF THE DAY
PILOT F. Irish S/A
EQUIPMENT Commodore Barry
Let's try to get something done here, a beginning to those short stories I've been putting up. A beginning so to speak, to give you a background.
I have been waiting a long time for this day, having put my heart and soul into my one glorious creation. Through trial and error I had successfully accomplished a goal that I had been joking about for a while now. "Liberty," I whisper, "I have actually grown Liberty." I took a seat on a large rock, the gray stone in stark contrast to the lush emerald green of the grass. A gust of wind blows past, presenting me with the sweet, intoxicating smell of my plant, the lone survivor of five hybrids. I glance at the egg sized flower I just retrieved, admiring the beauty. Small amounts of a bright green break up the otherwise blue bud, thin red hairs cover it, all under a layer of crystals that gives the whole thing a glaze of white. I had birthed a plant that produced red, white, and blue buds. Now I could sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
My free hand dives into my satchel, the torn olive bag still draped over my shoulder. I push the sketch books aside, scanning for the green case that holds my only Northern glass, Commodore Barry. My fingers caress the smooth fabric before closing around the carrier and sliding it into the open air. The zipper pulls open and I extract the green and black pipe, a pale blue peaks from between the colored glass and gleams in the sunlight. With a quick blow, I clear the bowl and begin to pack it. The moist bud shreds in my palm as red hairs and keef build up on my skin. Satisfied that I have enough for a bowl pack I cup my hand. Nothing happens, the pieces of marijuana don't fall into the middle of my palm like I expect. A smile cracks my lips, with bowl in hand I sweep the shreds into a pile before stuffing the bowl head with my sweet reward. Certain my palm is as clean as it can be I take a second to admire the view. The blue is faint, covered in a thick white layer of crystals and red hairs. A shiver runs down my spine as I raise the pipe to my lips. The Bic sparks to life as I draw smoke into the chamber, I lift my thumb from the carb sending the white smoke straight to my lungs.
In an instant I am relaxed, I can heart my heart beat, slow, rhythmic, distant. Smoke erupts from my mouth, dancing away with the gentle breeze. Around me everything seems at peace. I slide down the rock until I can feel the soft grass and warm earth. The cool granite feels amazing against my back as I get comfortable. The bowl is lifted back to my lips and the process is repeated: flame, pull, open. Again I can feel the delicious smoke fill my lungs, the intense calm, the heart beat. Blue smoke drifts from my open mouth as I peer at it, like translucent dragons, the wisps climb into the deep blue sky and eternity. I am spell bound. My head comes to rest on the rock now, as I peer across the slopping fields, the bright green hay rolling in the wind, lapping like waves against the forest below. Power lines cast thin shadows down the center of the valley, disappearing behind the tree tops in the distance. The deep green canopy flutters for a moment as a red-tailed hawk takes to the wing. Its strong wings carrying the bird of prey high above the ground before it begins its circular decent in search of food. Across the small valley on the opposite slope I can see two fox playing amongst the horses, jumping and wrestling inside the fence line, the orange coats so vivid.
I take another hit, so at ease that I just want to enjoy it. The Bic once again fires, and I lower it to the scorched bowl. I pull, drawing the flame into the bud, I can see the bright orange cherry as the smoke starts to build. In one motion I pull the lighter away and release my thumb from the shotgun. This hit is different, it is heavy. My lungs strain to hold in the smoke for the four seconds I need, tears build at the corners of my eyes. A small tickle in my throat starts, I choke. Cough after hard cough rock my body as smoke pours out my nose and mouth. I put the bowl down and cover my mouth. The coughs are violent, I can feel my head getting light as I struggle to get air. 'Hand up! Hands up!' I tell myself, raising my arms to open up the airway. The warm air surges into my lungs as I start to relax and regain my composure. My head is spinning as I lay back into the rock, content with sitting and recovering from my ordeal. I forget all about my little episode as I once again fall into a trance watching nature, drifting to sleep.
I awake with a start, and glance around to get my bearings. My eyes scan my surroundings, a gentle breeze blows across the waves of green grass. The deep green canopy shifts in time with the grass, and above it I can see the fence line of the field. Something seems out of place, but the feeling is brushed aside, as I tell myself it is because I am high. I look down at my lap, my left hand wrapped around my bowl, the lighter gripped in right. I shake my head in amazement, 'three hits and i was out. Man, I really did it.' I collect myself, sealing the bowl and remaining bud into the case before dropping it back into my satchel. With little difficulty I am on my feet and walking, headed down the dirt road on the edge of the field. I follow it down into the valley, crossing the small stream before turning right onto the main farm road. The two cabins ahead of me seem different, something is off. I notice that the boat that one of the renters owns is not there. 'They must have taken it out,' I think as I continue my walk to the front of the farm.
Something still doesn't feel right as I start past the cabins. I stop to examine them, I can tell something is missing, but I can't think of what. The realization hits me like with such force that I fall backward, landing hard on the dirt road. "There's no power lines..." Panic sets in as I notice the industrial lines that slice through the valley are also missing. "What the fuck is going on?" I jolt to my feet and start to sprint for the shop, an old milk house that is used as the main building for my job. My feet carry me over the railroad lines and to the left, following the road. Hard packed dirt claps against my boots, "This is a gravel road, where am I?" I run faster, turning with the dirt road to the right and across a small stone bridge. Where I have seen a bridge in disrepair, there stands one that looked as if it had just been built. I don't stop to get a closer look, determined to reach the sanctuary of the shop. The road starts to rise, slowing my pace. My legs burn as my sprint drops to a trot. Air feels like fire as it courses into my lungs. The road curls to the right, I stop in my tracks.
Ahead of me I can see the old brick barn, larger than I have ever known it to be. It is whole. "That can't be," the words scrape out of my throat, "The...that part of the barn was destroyed in a fire!" I walk toward it, astonished at how glorious it looks. The tall brick barn is bright in the sun, the wooden hay door a rich gold color, as if it had just been cut. Where once a tattered wall stood, gleaming white stucco walls rose to a sloped slate roof. Shutters are drawn and locked in the open position, I glance in as I creep past. The stalls inside look as if they are also new. Candles glow inside lamps, casting an orange glow over the dirt and hay. I pull my eyes away, only to be once more breathless. The farm house is as bright as the barn, and smaller than I have known it to be. Smoke curls out the chimney as I approach the door. Two chairs built of tree slices flank a matching table, the bark still attached to the edges. I turn and knock against the green portal with some force.
"Give me a minute sar," an Irish brogue drifts through the open window, "Ave a seat. I'll be rioght out wit tha caffee sar." I peer into the window. The smell of coffee wafts past my nostrils while I wait for my eyes to adjust to the dim interior.
"Hello?" I cup my hands to my eyes, "Hey, where am I? What the hell is going on? Who are you?"
"Be'jesus, you'd tink you'd listin to a friendly voice," the brogue was coming from another room.
"Dude," I can't think of what to say.
"Tis not dood sar, me name is John Barry, Commodore Barry." I grasp for a seat and fall into it. "Severy thin alraight sar?" The front door crack open. Two mugs emerge, held by a hand, connected to an arm, followed by a body. He is tall, with broad shoulders and rigid stance. "And you sar, are lookin at your mental landscape." He hands me a mug, "Tis a beutiful ting sar, a beutiful ting indeed."