Islands in the Sky

The young lady sat calmly on the launch pad. Not many people went into the air these days. Not since the atmosphere had started to thin. Too much risk for the little reward. If people needed to get from point A to B they rode on the rocket rails. Not today though. She had finally found someone crazy enough to take her on the expedition. She absently tugged on the locket she always wore. A keepsake with a picture each of her father and her aunt. Sadly both had gone. Her father had died nearly sixteen years ago, in one of the last flights before they were banned. Her aunt was another story.

Grace could barley remember her aunt. She had disappeared when she was five. Grasping the locket tighter she closed her eyes and tried to remember something. The day her aunt had disappeared they had been together and she could swear that there had been something in the sky that had upset her aunt. A city. However, everyone swore up and down that such a thing was impossible. How could that be? The more she thought the clearer it became. A giant cloud, it had been called York. She examined the memory carefully. She noticed that some memories had a shimmer to them, but this one didn’t. That must mean it was true.

“Ready to take off?” The pilot asked, jumping into the cockpit.

“As I’ll ever be,” she replied, “thank you Garrett.”

He looked at her for a moment as she took her seat next to him. Whatever he saw convinced him, he nodded and secured the doors. She watched as he prepped his machine. If she was truthful, riding in a hand-made aircraft made her beyond nervous, but he was the only pilot she had found willing to take on her project. Not that there were even many pilots. They are heavily regulated positions. She wondered at his willingness to break protocol, but it was what she needed, so she wouldn’t worry about it.

After all the pre-flight checks were complete the took off. Straight up. Her throat plummeted to her stomach and her lungs burned. A few minutes passed and finally a voice broke through her fog.

“Breath Grace,” Garrett commanded. “You need to keep breathing. This is the hardest part of the trek, just hold on a few more minutes. Breath.”

She nodded the best she could and forced her lungs to expand. It hurt but also made her feel better. Repeating the action the fog slowly began to clear. As she continued to focus entirely on breathing she discovered it was starting to get easier. Clouds engulfed the craft and once they broke through the last layers she was able to breath normally again. Then she looked around.

She gasped with excitement, and shouted over the noise of the craft, “The islands in the sky are real!”

 

Found via Pinterest.
Prompt: She gasped with excitement, and shouted over the noise of the helicopter: “The islands in the sky are real!”

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