by Lin Stone
|You hear one cow moo, you've heard them all, that's my theory.
Mama had warned me about Grandma too. She doesn't watch television,
my brothers said, not at all. You'll go starko over there, my
sisters said. But I
was going starko at home anyway. So I sneaked under some blankets in
the back seat and rode all the way home with Grandma without her
knowing a thing.
It almost scared her to death when she pulled that blanket back and found me. Then she was furious. She lathered me up one side and down the other with phrases I had never associated with grandmas before. Then she called Mama, I'm not bringing this boy home, she said. And Mama answered, I'm not coming to get him either so he can just stay there. It serves him right.
That just tickled me plumb pink at first. Then I heard the cow moo and I was excited to learn that I would get to milk her. Do you know how many times you can milk a cow without being bored to death? Less than one! When I heard the cow moo the second time I realized that coming to Grandma's house really was a mistake.
|But you know, I thought after the third day that if I just
had my computer things would be okay. So on the fourth night I
was outside gazing up at the stars and longing for my computer
when suddenly I felt myself lifting off the ground. I was air
borne; I had psi power.
Yes! I had psi power and all I needed to do was float home, pick up my computer and come back to live happily ever after. You'd think that would be easy with the psi powers I had, but you've never floated in the air, have you? If you ever had floated in the air you would know that floaters are at the mercy of every stray gust of nasty wind. You go hither, you go thither, you go yon and maybe you come back and maybe you don't because you have no control over what happens to you.
When I finally did get both feet back on the ground, I thought about Harry Potter and his magical broomstick. Now if I had that rig under me I could NAVIGATE. Yes, Sir! The only trouble with that was if any corn cob farm boy really saw me flying around on a broomstick he'd think I was a witch and shoot me down with his twelve gauge.
That's when I came up with the theory that all I needed was one of grandma's plates. I could twist it and turn it whichever way I wanted to go and that's the way I would go. Well it sounded right so I got one of grandma's plates and up into the air I floated. Up, Up, and Away I floated.
|I was so excited that I giggled like a little kid. I had
not gone more
than 50 feet when I realized there were two problems. Number
one that plate didn't steer worth a darn; it must have had a
hair-line crack or something in it, and Number two, I had no
idea WHERE to steer TO. I didn't recognize any of that
country. I wouldn't even have known which way home was if
someone was there to tell me whichaway was east and
whichaway was west. In fact, I was so confused that I needed
someone there to tell me whichaway north and south was too
even if someone had already been there to tell me whichaway was east and
whichaway was west.
You've heard tell of people being up the creek without a paddle? I was up ABOVE the creek and hanging upside down without a paddle! Instead of dragging my feet I was dragging my head. I dropped Grandma's plate and it shattered, of course. Was she going to blame me for that when it had obviously busted because it had a hair-line crack in it somewhere? The best thing to do was pretend I'd never seen her plate. Let's see how that goes across. Grandma, cross my heart and hope to die.. Naw, Grandma would see through me in a heartbeat. Grandmas are like that, and this one had raised Daddy so I was just flap-jawed out of luck.
I really did need one of those broomsticks like Harry Potter had -- shorter of course, just something to rest my little buns on with room for my hands to yank the steering mechanism back and forth.
Far ahead I saw the lights of town, and I headed that way as best I could wobble. Of course, the best I could wobble was all full of being buffeted to and fro by every ill wind that wanted to blow, but somehow I made it. It felt good to get my feet back on the ground and quit wobbling.
I had landed behind a service station and I looked through the trash bin for a short 2 x 4 but I couldn't even find a long one. I wanted one just 2 foot long, small enough to hold me upand not so long that it would stick out the back so people would think I was a witch. Since there was no 2 by 4 out there I walked around and went inside to look for something that would work just as well. I looked hither and I looked thither and I looked in vain. No wonder there was so much hithering and thithering in fairy tales! Raising my gaze toward heaven for inspiration my eyes saw a carton of Virginia Slims. A carton of long wheel-based cigarettes was just the right size for my little buns to rest on, I decided.
Unfortunately I was a long ways from being old enough to buy cigarettes and asking for a whole carton at one time would not make me look any older than my thirteen birthdays. I was glad I wasn't old enough to smoke when I looked at the price, $48.50 for just one little carton of cigarettes, Gee Whiz how can people afford a bad habit like that? Just then the girl went outside to put water in one of the buckets and quickern a little wink I lifted off the floor and stole that carton of cigarettes. As my feet contacted ground floor again with the carton still clutched in my hands I realized that I was now guilty of grand larceny.
My face was glowing hotter than a stove lid when I busted out of there and lunged for the shadows behind the station. You could hear the sirens wailing almost immediately. I guess sound carries farther when you get up above the normal racket. Lucky for me, my new means of transportation was working great and by the time the police got to the scene of my crime I was already 30 feet up in the air and a mile out of town.
Whoever said that crime did not pay had never been a floater like me.
|That carton of cigarettes made just the right size
of saddle for my little buns, but it was so cold up
there in the heaving sky I must have been facing a
windshield factor of -14. It was so cold my teeth froze
together over a wad of gum.
Between the shivering of my hands and the shaking of my
buns I soon grew tired of floating effortlessly through
the sky. Exhausted, I landed in the top of an apple
tree. As I perched there so precariously I decided to
see for myself just what a cigarette tasted like.
After just 2 puffs the insides of my head swirled like eddies of smoke and I started oozing through the limbs and hanging by my toes. People pay money for this sort of thing? It was all I could do to hang on and shake my head to clear it of cob webs.
Suddenly I heard this wild
creature climbing up the tree, then a voice called out
I can smell that smoke up there, you give me a puff or
I'm going to tell Mama on you! Obviously it was a boy
bent on blackmail. He was wild-eyed and bitter mean. Obviously
he was having a fit for nicotine. Limbs were breaking
beneath me as he lunged to steal my cigarette. The whole
carton tumbled to the ground and spilled open. How would he ever explain
that to his mother, I wondered. And if she called
the police? It was the perfect frameup!
They'd never suspect Psi King of the dirty deed.
Yeah, that's what they'd say all right. Who
needs friends that think like that anyway? I did a
somersault and tried to hit the birds with my other
fist. Instead, I found myself upside down with the sun
splattering in my eyes and all I accomplished was I
wrenched my other wrist. Oh, oh, oh!
I landed softly behind her and ran up to grab the bucket out of her hand. Let me milk the cow Grandma, I shouted. I don't mind a bit.
Gee. It felt GOOD to feel normal again.
than wealthy, Lin Stone writes how to articles
to help the writing trade. Along with his contributions you'll find
14,000 resource articles for writers.
His first book, HOW TO BUY LAND AT TAX SALES, is so good it is still
selling after eight years. Lin's latest contributions are posted on