The Flight Academy
"Mr. Amsbury, what inspires you to become a pilot?"
"Thank you for asking, Miss Herschel. From a young age, I have had a fascination with flying. In grade school, I would sit on the lunch benches and watch the birds as they flew from the sky, beating their wings slowly with a full range of motion as they would gracefully land on the tabletops scouting around for food. I knew I wanted to be part of that world, gliding gracefully in the sky, feeling free, kissing the clouds."
"That is beautiful, Jack. I can already tell that you will be one of our more interesting and insightful students. Plus, at the age of 19, you are currently our youngest student in the academy."
The Mystery of W.S.
Sheryl returned home from work with excitement. Upon entering the house, she yelled out, "Jack, come downstairs! I have something important to show you.”
Jack walked out of the kitchen and said, "I'm here, Mom. I just got back from the flight academy. What's up?”
“I received another communication. This one explains the discovery of the initials W.S. Come here, look at this photo.”
Jack walks over to look at the photo.
"Look at this," Sheryl pointed out in the photo. "This was found embossed on the back of one of the blackmail photos that was sent to you. It's a sign-off of some sort of memo that W.S. wrote, and the edge of the photo happened to be under the memo."
Jack looked closely at the photo. "Yes, I see. It's vague, but I can see, 'Regards, W.S.'”
“Here's the clincher Jack. I've seen this sign-off somewhere before. I recognize it. I'm just not sure where I've seen it.”
“You know Mom. I've been thinking about visiting Mitchell. I want to find out how he's involved.”
“No Jack, let my friend do his job. He already has eyes on Mitchell. It's possible that Mitchell is also being blackmailed and if so you could be putting yourself in danger by going over to his apartment. Whoever is doing this is probably following him. It could also be that Mitchell is behind all of this and he could be a very dangerous person. Stay away. You and I just need to go about our daily lives as normal.”
What's Going on With Mitchell?
Jack decided to defy his mom's advice and took a drive to Mitchell's apartment. When he arrived, the apartment had been cordoned off by the police.
Jack parked his car and watched from across the street for about thirty minutes. There was no activity except for two police officers who showed up, entered Mitchell's apartment, and ten minutes later exited with a large brown box.
This had Jack confused; he was both angry and shaken. He started his car and quickly drove away. On his way back home, Jack noticed a silver Mercedes following him. He broke into a sweat and panicked, unsure of what to do. Thoughts raced through his head about what could have possibly happened with Mitchell. “Was Mitchell killed? Was he kidnapped? What could have happened? Why is this silver Mercedes following me?”
Instead of driving home, Jack drove to the fire department where his mom works. He figured that would deter the person who was following him. He was right; when Mitchell turned into the fire department, the silver Mercedes kept driving by.
At the Firehouse
Once inside the firehouse, Jack walked directly to his mom's office.
“Jack, what are you doing here? Don't say a word.”
Jack started to say something, but Sheryl quieted him with her index finger to her lips. She motioned for him to follow her out of the office. She led him to the back of the firehouse out to the basketball court, which was not visible from the street.
“Jack,” she said, “What are you doing here?”
“I drove by Mitchell's…”
“Wait a minute,” she cut in, “You went there after I explicitly told you not to. Don't you know how dangerous this is?”
“I know, Mom. I know. I made a mistake. But when I got there, Mitchell's apartment was cordoned off, and the police were taking things out of his apartment.”
“Okay, that's not good. Did anyone see you?”
“When I left, a silver Mercedes followed me here.”
“A silver Mercedes?”
“Okay, go home and lock the doors and windows. If Dad or Emily are there, tell them not to leave. Do not answer the phone or the door for anyone”
Sheryl rushed back into the firehouse to let the captain know she would be taking an extended break.
She left through the back door, ran across the basketball court, past the back lot to a chain-link fence at the rear of the firehouse. She unlocked the gate and ran across a grassy field to Ball Road to use a pay phone.
She dialed the number and left a message, “I know who W.S. is.”
Can I Trust Mitchell?
Back at home, Jack was alone when the phone started ringing. It rang five times, and he couldn't resist. He picked up the phone.
“Jack, this is Mitchell.”
“Mitchell? What's going on?”
“I've gone into hiding. Something diabolical is happening. I need to talk with you.”
Jack looked outside and saw the silver Mercedes parked there.
“Mitchell, I'm sorry, I can't talk with you.” Jack hung up the phone, ran down to the basement, escaped through the trap door, climbed over the fence into his neighbor's backyard, and kept running until he made it to the park. There, he sat, trying to figure out how to contact his mom.
With Love, RHC ❤️
About the Creator
Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.