Friday, March 12, 2010

Dreams...

I had the strangest dream last night:



We were sitting under the awning of the sidewalk cafe across from the airfield when we heard the big jet on final. Despite having been built to satisfy imperial ambitions years ago, the weed-straggling airport here hadn't seen much of anything bigger than a puddle jumper in a long time, and the sound was unexpected enough to cause me to bang my shotgun against the cafe's rusty wrought iron railing as I leaned awkwardly out to see what was making the roar.

It was one of those Soviet Airbus knockoffs, and not an Aeroflot one, either, as the mottled gray paint and the pods under the wings for flares and chaff made abundantly clear. And it was obviously about to land here.

It was moderately unsettling. I mean, we had as much right to be here as the Russkies did, of course, but despite our blue passports, my partner and I were here pretty much on our own hook, and that was definitely a Very Official Soviet plane.

It landed hard and short, reversing thrust and piling on the braking, and then, rather than taxiing off, it turned a one-eighty and, with flaps still dropped, powered down. That was weird.

The plane might as well have been invisible to the locals, the adults at least, inured as they were to the comings and goings of the various pawns and rooks of the great game, but a few of the younger ones ran across the dusty street and pressed their faces to the chain link. My partner was staring at the Airbuski, stroking his chin in thought, and I kept one eye on the plane myself as I went back to my tea.

By the time we were ready to leave some fifteen minutes later, the plane was still sitting silent and alone in the middle of the uncontrolled field's runway, which was decidedly odd. Most of the urchins had wandered off as we strolled out onto the street ourselves...

Another jet. Loud. Looking up, we could see a second Russian heavy, flaps and gear down, suddenly adding power and veering off as it saw its twin parked smack in the middle of the tarmac. A pair of MiGs, tiny in comparison, jinked to avoid the plane they'd I guess been escorting as it rose and proceeded to orbit the field absurdly low. There was still no sign of life from the freighter on the strip. Its mate passed one last time over our heads, low enough that we could see the dirt and grime on its underbelly, and then, trailing the fighter planes like chicks behind their momma, it turned back north.

"What was that all about?" I wondered aloud.

"Beats hell outta me," muttered my partner.

With the sky once again empty, the Airbuski suddenly popped its forward cabin door open, and a rope ladder unspooled to span the long drop to the ground. Then nothing again for what seemed like a long... Wait, a noise. A single, muffled... was that a gunshot?

My partner walked over to the gate in the fence without another word, pushed it open, and moved out at a trot toward the plane. Given a choice between standing like an idiot by myself or running across a couple hundred yards of open field like an idiot with someone else, I opted for the latter. The company was better.

As we got to the bottom of the ladder, we could hear what sounded like wailing from inside the open hatch. It sounded like someone was giving a housecat a rough time of it up there. My partner was reaching for the ladder, but I got a hand on it first.

I swarmed up it, not knowing what to expect, and feeling kind of idiotic. My head was almost level with the hatch before I realized that climbing into a foreign military aircraft, even one in apparent distress, with an ugly short-barreled shotgun slung over my back was not likely to make me look like the Welcome Wagon. I was too high up to ditch it now, though, especially with my partner halfway up the ladder below me.

If I didn't know better, that sound was babies crying. On a Commie cargo jet?

I risked a peek over the lip of the hatch and, sure enough, right there inside it were two blanket-swaddled shapes lying on the cargo floor and howling their little lungs out. The plane looked otherwise empty, its webbing seats stowed against the sides of the fuselage.

I clambered through the hatch and looked towards the cockpit door, which was ajar. I could smell gunpowder. And blood. Unslinging my shotgun, I nosed through the door as my partner entered the plane.

There was just one guy in the pilot's seat, wearing a colonel's uniform. He was dressed for a day at the office, not for the flight line, and he was deader than Elvis. The Krink he'd used to put a bullet in his own chest lay between his feet.

He'd wanted to get his kids out so bad that he took the first chance he had. Knowing they'd come after him for what was in his head, he decided to put a stop to that the only way he could.

We picked up the kids and split before the cavalry could return...

39 comments:

Turk Turon said...

WOW!

OK, go get about a ream of typing paper and one of Roberta's typewriters and write the rest of it down, before you forget it!

wv: letters

Anonymous said...

Oh yes-more please.
Fred

Joanna said...

I'd read that book.

global village idiot said...

Sometimes wasabe before bed really IS a good idea.

Mr. Fixit said...

MORE!

Please?

Mr Fixit

Will Brown said...

Man! My dreams mostly seem to involve doing an extra load of laundry. :)

You got more of this floating around up there? If not, can the rest of us play too? It's your universe, so you get the say as to who and when others can go there.

I can see several points for potential short story-like individual contributions that build on the basic outlines just on first reading.

Nice one.

dantesfiringrange said...

And... And... AND...

There is more. RIGHT!

Alex said...

What Turk said. Please write more!

Owen said...

more please!

Seth from Massachusetts said...

I had a really weird dream night before last. In it I lived in the house I spent my childhood in and was in a rush to take a shower and get off to work, at my present job! But the shower room was occupied, by a staff meeting of the organization I had my previous job at!

Your dream take the cake though!

Anonymous said...

Please Ma'm, may we have some more?
Rey B

Ken said...

Was that a Department of Education approved 14" remington shotgun?

mongo78 said...

Expand that into a screenplay and it'll be better than 99% of what comes out of Hollyweird these days.

If you do that, I'll noodle on possible shooting locations and casting choices.

Tam said...

Ken,

"Was that a Department of Education approved 14" remington shotgun?"

Yes, and there was a heavy on final over Broad Ripple last night around sunset...

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Where on earth have you been keeping such talent???

I'll settle for the literary agent role.

WOW for sure!

Ben said...

Your dreams have better plots than half the books I've read recently.

Lewis said...

I'll buy it.

PA State Cop said...

And WHAT have we been partaking of prior to Bedtime. I had a former girlfriend who was on the patch who had really vivid dreams. She woke up one night and hit me telling me I had broken up with her. I'm totaly lost at this point and asked her what the hell she was talking about. She told me she had a dream in which we were out to dinner and I turned to her and said... Any way I understand the nicotine gives REALLY wicked dreams. ;)

Borepatch said...

I don't read much fiction, but I'd pay cash money for that.

DirtCrashr said...

I like it when the big C-130's train at Moffett Field.

TXGunGeek said...

"big C-130's"?

Wait till a C-17 comes in and puts the C-130's to shame. We had a 17 parked on the ramp on the other side of the field when a 130 came in with support and it was amusing to see the 130 taxi by the 17. Realized just how small the 130's are.

Although, I have yet to see a C-17 back up like the 130's do.

Frank W. James said...

You know you just planted the seed where I might start posting parts of the novel I've never finished. Gawd knows I probably never will and if I do, it will never find a publisher, but still...you've planted a seed.....

All The Best,
Frank W. James

B_L said...

Jeez, I had a bizarre abandoned-kid dream last night as well. It didn't involve Russians, but it did involve arms as a subplot.

I can probably blame mine on melatonin and a big ol' fried ham torta with sriracha sauce.

Joanna said...

I can probably blame mine on melatonin and a big ol' fried ham torta with sriracha sauce.

Yeah, that'll do it.

Anonymous said...

Damn, Tam that was better written than 9/10ths of the sf that currently gather dust at the local book store!
You definatly have a hidden talent and should pursue this endever with much viger and zeal!

Walt

P.s. can't wait to see the movie version!

Michael said...

10,000 quatloos for the movie rights!

Anonymous said...

Okay, dream sequence elements all fit together, the big 'un over Broad Ripple, the Remmie shorties at DOE, now what's the genesis of getting the babies "out" at any cost? Whatever could make your sub-conscious think their future two decades hence could be so dark?

Regardless, truly lovely and engaging construct; I would read it to the end, and mil-fic is not even my bag.

AT

jeff said...

TXGunGeek:
The C-17 can taxi in reverse, you can see vids of it on youtube. I hate the damn things because the interior is as spartan as a 130, but it cruises much higher so you freeze your ass off if your riding in the back.

Tam, good stuff. Although arent you supposed to fall at some point in dream sequences? You just don't do anything like the other girls, do you.

Nathan said...

Good stuff. Want more.

reflectoscope said...

If that is the first chapter, I'll totally buy the book.

Jim

og said...

You gotta stop giving away the ice cream, and put something on actual paper I can hold in my hands and read.

Hat Trick said...

I'll chime in and say too that you should flesh this out as a book.

Anonymous said...

Story sounds good.
But, did you pick up the Krink?

Erik in Colo.

MrWolf. said...

Now, normally I chide you for those pre-bedtime cheese snacks, but in this case...

Tonight, please have the fondue AND Welsh rarebit, and keep a tape-recorder running.

Best wishes.

Dave said...

My dad's got a C5 story I love: He was working on some base or other and saw one flying in. "That's not so big" he thought, as it flew past a cloud he thought was behind it. Then he realized how miscalibrated his perception was.

Brad K. said...

OK, this isn't subtle at all.

You are appalled at the Department of Education having a use for the short-barreled shotguns. You have spent too much time thinking of bizarre and unlikely scenarios that might find a use for the Dept of Ed to actually need hardware, let alone assault stuff.

You are not the "you" of the perspective, running to the plane. You are the infants. Being rescued by the Dept of Ed, from parental custody and the evils of . . . um, they will let you know what they saved you from, don't worry your pretty little head about that. Really. The *will* have a story, and they will almost sound like they believe it.

But it was just a dream. The Dept of Ed really doesn't want to "educate" children against their parent's better judgment. Well, maybe until B. Hussein Obama took office, and the teacher's unions started teaching the kids union fight songs.

Mike said...

But did you take the Krink with you? Never know when you might need an extra weapon in those kind of dreams.

wrm said...

Hush, I hear the ticking of a biological clock.

TheRock said...

Hush, I hear the ticking of a biological clock.
_________________

If it hasn't happened by now, I think it probably won't happen.