So I gratefully turned to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge this week (after a week's hiatus) to relieve some of the pressure. And Charli came through for me with a prompt that seems custom-designed to take me away from the grind of producing words on a deadline:
July 15, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a breathless moment. Write about life.
There are so many breathless, life-affirming moments in my life. Merely reviewing my options for this week's flash would have been a joy and wonder. But one memory surged to the top of the list, and unlike all the others, it is the only one I did not share with my spouse.
Silent WonderAt 19, I had never flown in an airplane. Yet there I was in California's Central Valley, signing up to ride in a glider. My spouse, who suffers from inner-ear disturbances, elected to stay on the ground.
Here the passenger sat in front, isolated from the pilot. There was no one to share my breathless wonder as the tow released and the craft began drifting downward.
The key experience in an unpowered aircraft is silence. No engine means no growl of power. All you hear is the airflow hissing over the wings as it wheels gracefully over the earth.