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I Could Fly Away

Story ID:6881
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Biography
Location:Sambro Nova Scotia Canada
Year:1970
View Comments (4)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
This is a rewrite of an old story I wrote
It's amazing how many errors a writer finds
in old works.
I bet when i read this again in a year, I'll have learned more and will cringe at this version.

I Could Fly Away


The storm passed. Cold white clouds parted and a bright sun reflected off the
white landscape. It was a big storm. It dumped more than a foot of snow, which the winds
whipped into huge piles. One drift was six feet high and stretched across our lawn,
parallel to the driveway.
"Mum, can I go out and play?" I asked.

Mum looked outside. "OK, but be careful. Stay in the yard." She warned.
Mum bundled me up: sweater, thick winter coat, hat, scarf, and a pair of winter
boots that were so heavy, they felt like lead blocks on my feet. The strong wind ripped
the door from my hand, as I stepped outside. With Mum's help, we got it closed, but not
before every loose paper on the kitchen table was blown to the floor.

I carried Dad's shovel and waddled to the drift by the driveway. It was packed
tight by the wind and easily held my weight. I climbed to the top and looked out over
Dad's car. I was on top of the world.

I walked to one end and started to dig. I placed the blocks of snow I dug out of the
hole around the opening of my soon-to-be snow cave. They stacked up like the walls of a
castle and provided shelter from the attacking armies. When I was done, the cave was
long enough for me to stretch out and deep enough to crawl into, turn around and face
the opening. Sunlight penetrated the roof. It bathed everything in an eerie, turquoise
glow.

My friend Jimmy stopped by. We went to work and soon had half the drift
hollowed out. There was enough room for us and a couple more friends. Other kids
joined us. We picked teams. A mock battle was staged. Jimmy and I, with a few
others, manned the fort as the opposing forces attacked.

I lifted my head from the hole. A snowball sailed in my direction. I ducked, but
not fast enough. My hat was ripped from my head and powdered snow floated into the
cave as I retreated to safety.

"That was close!" Jimmy said.
"Too close!"

I laughed and brushed snow from my face. "Let's dig a hole out the
back of the drift. We can sneak out and get behind them."

"Good idea." Jimmy said. "Timmy, you and Wade stay in here. Throw a snowball
out every once in a while. They'll think they have us trapped. Mike and I will sneak out.
When you hear us yell, 'Attack!', jump out and start firing.

"We'll get them twice! First we'll hit them from behind. When they turn to fight
back, you guys can get them again."
Our escape hatch was ready. We put our hands together, "All for one and one for
all!" we yelled. Jimmy and I disappeared through the hole, crawled around Dad's car,
waded through the deep snow, and disappeared behind my house. We circled around the
hill behind the enemy and crawled through the snow to the top.

We had a clear view of the battle zone. Three of them hid behind a wall of snow-
bricks. "When did they build that, Jimmy?"
"I don't know, but they sure built it fast." Jimmy said. He slapped my arm. "Look
Kevin is digging into the back of our drift. He's trying to sneak in.

"OK! On the count of three, we'll jump up, yell 'Attack!' and let them have it.

"We'll focus on the three behind the wall. We have them trapped. When Timmy and Wade
pop up, they can take care of Kevin. You ready?"

Jimmy nodded. "Ok! Let's do it!"

We stood.

"Attack!" We fired on the three behind the wall.

Our first volley was a success. We got all three of them before they turned on us.
"Where's Timmy and Wade?" Jimmy yelled, as he took a direct hit to the side of
the head. He dug snow from his red ear. Another snowball struck the top of his head and
disintegrated into a shower of ice crystals.

"I don't know!" I screamed. "Let's try again." We both yelled, "ATTACK!
ATTACK! ATTACK!"

Inside the drift, Timmy and Wade waited. "Did you hear something?" Wade
asked. Vapor drifted from his mouth and nose with each breath.

"I can't hear a thing." Timmy replied. "Do you think we should check?"

"They said to wait until they yelled."

"What if we can't hear them?"

"We'll here them, Timmy." Wade answered.
They waited while the short-lived battle roared outside.

There were heavy casualties. Jimmy and I were beaten. My hair was matted with
ice. Jimmy lie flat on his back, covered in snow. One of my hands was red and raw. The
mitten protecting it, frozen to a snowball, was launched into the opposition's side of the
border. We raised our hands in surrender. Timmy and Wade were taken prisoner and
marched to a firing squad. They were brave men. We were proud to have fought with
them.

"That was fun!" Craig said. "Can we do it again tomorrow? This time we get the
cave."

"Deal! See ya, guys!"

********************************

A cold wind whipped powdered snow into my face. It stung my cheeks, before
melting, and dripping from my chin. I picked up a handful of snow, squeezed it tight in
my hands, and made a snowball.

My target, a castle made from blocks of snow carefully cut from the hard-packed
snowdrift that stretched the length of our yard, towered on a rock in front of me. I took
aim and hurled my snowball at it. It went high, landed in a drift behind the castle and
created a small crater.

I made another snowball and fired again. This one hit the left tower of the castle.

A turret toppled over. In my imagination, the evil wizard screamed, "You will pay for
this, King Michael.!"

The captured maiden screamed, "King Michael, save me!"

Another snowball crashed into the castle. The evil wizard cursed as his castle
crashed down around him. The snow maiden leaped and landed safely in the feathery
snow. She stood and waved, "I love you, King Michael!"

"Michael! Itís time for supper!" Mum called from the house. My maiden faded
from view - back to reality.

**************************

Wet snow covered our yard. I grabbed a handful, rolled it forward and created a
big ball. Before long, an evil snowman stood in front of me. His stone eyes and buttons,
created from the gravel in our driveway, stood out against his white uniform. A wet
stocking cap, stuffed with snow, stood erect on his head. His stick arms threatened my
kingdom.

"Stay back, Snow Devil. If you want a fight, you better be ready for a good one!"
I threatened.

He saidÖ

Actually, he didnít say anything. Snowmen don't talk much.

I hit him with a snowball. One of his buttons dropped to the ground. "Had
enough?" I yelled. Stony-eyed, he stood silent.
I pelted him with several more snowballs. He showed the effects of my onslaught.

One eye was missing and a couple of his teeth lay at his feet. His stocking cap lay several
feet behind him. In his weakened state, I grew brave, moved in, and pulled my sword Ė
the sword from a swordfish - from my belt. It whistled through the air. His head toppled
to the ground, and dislodged his remaining eye. My kingdom was safe again.


**************************

A road passed in front of our house. It was a border. On the other side was an
open field, where the enemy prepared their attacks on my make-believe country. Above
the border stretched a maze of power lines. The wires were a defense system.

At night, I launched snowballs in the direction of the enemy. They became
imaginary bombers. If they got through the wires, my bombers were successful. If they
hit the wires, they failed, and disintegrated into puffs of white crystals that sparkled in the
brightness of the street light that hung on the pole down the road.

I launched one for my side and one for the enemy. They took turns attempting to
penetrate the defenses. After ten turns each, the winner was the one who got the most
bombers through the wires.

"Michael, time for bed!" Mum called. The battle was over.

**************************

I stood and looked down the slope to the harbor. Sunlight reflected off the icy
surface. I shielded my eyes, pursed my lips, and lowered my sled to the ice. I stretched
out and held myself still. My damp wool mittens froze to the ice. My heart hammered in
my chest. Happy the hard crust held my weight, I smiled, sucked a deep breath and
pushed off.

I shot down the hill, gained speed, and screamed with pleasure. My hands gripped
the handles tight. My fingers turned white with stress inside my mittens. The metal
runners rattled over the ripples in the ice. The frigid wind brought tears to my eyes. Cold
air turned my cheeks red. My hat blew off and wind whistled past my ears. At top speed,
I leaned into the first turn and slipped to the right. On the second turn, I tipped to the side,
gained control, and ripped down the final slope to the bottom.

My heart continued to hammer in my chest as I neared the end. I stopped and
wobbled when I stood. The pounding of my heart slowed.

I played all day. Many times I crashed. My body bounced over the ice, and slowly
came to a stop. I'd lie on my back and wait for a pretend ambulance to cart me away.

**************************

The end of another day of playing in my frosty backyard approached. The sky
turned dark. A light snow began to fall. I turned our porch light on and lay on our front
steps. Big snowflakes drifted down from the sky, landed on my face, and tickled my
nose.

I stared at the falling flakes. I had the illusion of flying upward. The flakes, white
from the porch light, looked like stars. I was on a spaceship traveling through space to
places unknown. The stars passed by. New adventures were mine to have. Earth was far
behind. I was flying.

Whenever I needed to escape a mean brother or a family squabble, I could count
on the snowflakes to help.

I could fly away.

Michael T. Smith