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The Aviator

I started to scribble among some to-do notes on a lined notepad, and this fellow took form.  Something about his posture suggested an Around the World in 80 Days explorer type.  You know he’s shaken sand out of his boots uncovering the pyramids, miscommunicated with island chieftains over their daughters and giant stone heads, narrowly avoided associating with pirates in the spicy Far East, and is far more comfortable sleeping in the berth of a train or ship than a bed.  He lives in a world where travellers are explorers, not tourists.

"Excuse me! Good, er, person! If you happen on you daily journeys to stumble across my wings, kindly let me know! I've quite certainly lost them."

I thought I might as well help him look.  I think he needs a suitcase and hat too.

"Ah! thank you good, hrm, person - much obliged! And now I must be off. Much to see! Well, cheerio!"

Apparently those wings do fly.

...I wonder if I'll ever see him again?

It was only as he was leaving (he didn’t stay for tea) that I found he had a family as well.

His wife always sees him off at the station or port with a tear in her eye and always, a sad sort of smile.  Nevertheless, she sings to herself as she tends her herb garden or works in the kitchen. She composes on her cello daily and is content.  For company she has their small son.  He is full of vigour and the same spirit of exploration as his father; he spends long hours in the library poring over maps of faraway lands, or builds model airplanes, or slays dragons and sails cardboard boats all over the countryside.

They miss him, but his adventuring is important, and he always brings back souvenirs.


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