by Sara Spock
She’s precious, isn’t she? She’s the kind of cute that makes you want to feed her cupcakes and squeeze her till those big blue eyes just pop right out of her head. Wouldn’t you love to tie her to a beach umbrella during hurricane force winds just to see if she could fly? Just me?
As an early teen, I had a slight Wright Brothers Complex. I was obsessed with making my baby sister fly. Aerodynamics, lift, control, Leonardo da Vinci… I wanted to see that kid go airborne and my determination knew no bounds. It was all very innocent. At first. We had an old waterbed mattress that I decided to partially inflate. I talked my lovable little 5-year-old sister into sitting on one end while I jumped on the other. LIFT!
During pilot testing, she only achieved slight changes in elevation. I wanted height. I modified the settings on my makeshift launch pad and gave it another go. Visibility was low and so was the ceiling. After an icepack and a couple hugs, I convinced her to take our little experiment outside. If she hit the ceiling inside, outside could afford greater altitude. With the launch pad positioned on the crest of a small hill in our backyard, once again we took our positions. I’m not exactly sure how she didn’t break her neck as she flew through the air and then hurdled toward the bank. She was a natural, tucking and rolling until she reached the bottom of the hill. Her massive blue-grape eyes looked up at me and her mouth stretched into a smile.
“That was great! Think I can go higher?”
But before my newly minted dare-devil could reach the top of the hill for a second run, the winds kicked up and we were forced back inside. I understood how Wilber felt when his engine stalled and his dreams crashed into the ground. We were on the cusp of success, the precipice of flight and hurricane winds were sweeping through our little mountainside village. Defeated, I glanced out the window in time to see one of our pool chairs hurdle into the fence. EUREKA!
“Want to be like Mary Poppins?” I asked her.
I tied a beach umbrella to her arm and attached another piece of cord to her leg. If anything, I was being responsible. I didn’t want to have to explain to my parents that my wispy little sister flew off in a storm after I tied her to an umbrella. I mean, they trusted me to watch her.
Armed with my newly aerodynamic sibling, we headed out into the storm. I tried tossing her into the air a few times without much luck. The wind and rain was really raging and I had a hard time keeping my grip. With a bit of thought, I decided to have her leap off the 4 foot brick wall that divided our driveway. We waited until a massive gust hit and she jumped. My count stopped at 11 seconds when a broad bolt of lighting struck just a few hundred meters away. I tugged at the rope and she landed on the driveway. Soaked and victorious, we made our way inside, happy to be alive.
“Should we try again later,” she asked.
“Nah, let’s watch Wizard of Oz.”
Sara Spock is a mom, wife, anthropology student, lab assistant, English tutor, and freelance writer. When she’s not trying to kill her sister or make her fly, Sara can be found at the Sex Lab. No, that’s not what we’re calling it these days.