Jason's Helicopter

Submitted into Contest #143 in response to: Set your story in the woods or on a campground. ... view prompt


Fantasy Inspirational Fiction

Jason finished his chores of clearing the eggs from the chicken run and milking Jessie, holding a pail between his legs the way he had been taught by his Dad. Freshly baked muffins welcomed him into the expansive kitchen where his Mother was busy with her daily routine. ‘Breakfast is ready’ she said, placing a plate of ham and eggs in front of him. ‘Dad has already left for the fields and asked if you could check the beehives in the forest.’ ‘Sure’ replied Jason as he wolfed down his breakfast and slurped his mug of tea. ‘See you later Mum’ he said as he hurriedly went out to the shed to collect his bike.

Morning dew sparkled on the grass alongside the track as he rode up the rutted path to the edge of the forest, the early morning chirp of birds in the hedges celebrated the start of another day.

Beneath the first line of trees the beehives were all intact, the industrious workers awaiting their turn around the hives to offload their bounty. ‘No intruders today’ said Jason to himself as he rested his bike against a tree and climbed onto the log.

He had scraped away the bark on the log making an indentation for his seat and trimmed back the protruding branches leaving one sticking up straight in front of the seat. A rubber ball was fixed to the top of the stick and on either side of the log two branches protruded on which to rest his feet. Salvaging bits and pieces from the shed he had made a console of dials which were nailed onto a slab of wood, this was attached to a pair of uprights and nailed to the side of the log making a dashboard. An old handheld microphone attached to a coiled cable hung from a hook at the side of the dashboard.  

Jason sat astride the log facing the valley below, cornfields stretched like green ribbons to the purple hills, puffy cumulus clouds floating above showing smudges of gray beneath, signaling rainstorms later. 

He held the microphone to his mouth. ‘Alpha Bravo One ready for takeoff’ he said. The straps of his helmet hung at the side down his face.

‘Ready on my go. ‘He replied.’ ‘Cleared for take off.’

He pulled back on the joystick and rose up into the clear sky. He hovered over the forest deciding on his heading, on the treetops ahead he saw a large untidy bunch of dried twigs and branches, their lifeless branches contrasting with the verdant tree on which they rested. Moving closer he could see two chicks nestled in a bed of feathers, their beaks opened when they sensed his approach. Jason saw the eagle some distance away drifting in the thermal, wings flapping lazily as it circled, its sharp eyes focused on the ground below. Descending slowly at first and then increasing speed until it suddenly dropped like an arrow and was lost behind the trees. 

Jason hovered and waited, moments later the eagle emerged  from the treetops, giant wings working hard to lift its bulk upward. The eagle flew toward the nest, wide wings flapping, its large bead-like black eyes focused ahead. In its large talons Jason saw a rabbit hanging by its neck, its body and legs dangling below. The chick's beaks wide open were squawking for attention. Slowing its flight it settled easily into the nest folding its giant wings wrapping itself in a coat of feathers. Sharp beady eyes looked around for a while, the chicks were now frantic for attention. Using its hooked yellow beak the eagle, bending its long white neck forward, tore off portions of the meal it had brought home and began to feed the hungry chicks.

Jason pushed the joystick forward, skimming the treetops once more, looking for the clearing that the eagle had found. ‘There it is,’ he said as he hovered over the forest meadow. 

Below a sparkling waterfall tumbled into a pool the color of the sky sending ripples in ever increasing circles to the sandy shore. Spotted deer were gathered at the water's edge, some quenching their thirst in the crystal water, others grazing on the lime green grass. Young deer pranced in the flower meadow. 

Jason was careful to descend into the farthest corner of the meadow so as not to frighten the deer. He walked through a field of wild daisies, bees were busy with their work harvesting and filling the sacs on their legs with pollen. He reached the pool edge, stripped down and dived into the cool waters of the pool, swimming to the waterfall, the cascading water struck his head like a million small needles. Behind the waterfall the water was calm, he went through the cascade on the other side the walls of the cave soared like a giant cathedral above him and at the top an opening let in a shaft of sunlight. He found a rock platform and climbed up out of the water. Green moss covered the rocks like a carpet, ferns poked through the crevices and orchid faces nodded at him.

The shaft of sunlight acted like a spotlight onto the wall of the cave showing a montage of red ochre stick figures etched into the rough surface of the walls. Human figures aiming bows and arrows at deer and bears and others dancing in a circle.

Jason touched the wall running his hand over the hunters as he did he could hear voices coming from inside the cave, when he lifted his hand off the mural the voices stopped. He tried again and there they were the voices talking in a language Jason could not understand. He moved along the wall and touched the dancers, now he heard the beating of drums, flutes and singing voices. He lifted his hand and as before the silence of the cave returned. 

Jason walked toward the back of the cave and looked into its interior. Large stalagmites rose up from the floor of the cave, their crystal columns glittering like a million diamonds throwing off flashes of ice blue and pink. He could go no further, the crystal columns blocking his way. 

Back on the sandy shore in front of the waterfall he lay in its warmth as the sun softly dried him. A dragonfly settled on the rocks next to him, its delicate transparent wings shining in the sunlight. Others hovered over the water touching each other and the surface of the water as they performed their sky dance. When he was younger he remembered sitting next to his mother on the riverbank fishing with dragonflies darting around them and her telling him that the dragonflies were fairies and were spiritual creatures connected to change, light and goodness and when they came to you they were reminding you of the qualities you possessed. They flitted around him for a while and as quickly as they had arrived they disappeared flying through the waterfall.

 ‘Alpha Bravo One heading back to base’ Jason said into the microphone as he pulled back on the joystick, the meadow and pool retreating below him as he rose upward. A rainbow arched over him. He steered himself into the violet light and followed its curve rising further into the blue and green layers upward to the topmost red arch. Swifts darted in and out of the rainbow chasing small insects rising from the moist ground. A flock of ducks flew beside him for a while veering off to a shimmering silver lake nestled in the hills. 

The sun was edging behind the clouds as he landed back at the edge of the forest. 

‘Alpha Bravo One has landed,’ he said into the microphone.

On his bike he careered down the hill toward home. ‘There you are Jason’ his mother said as he came to a sliding stop in the backyard, his mother was feeding the chickens. ‘I wondered where you had got to.’. ‘A storm is brewing and you should be getting inside.’ Jason took off his helmet and pushed his bike into the shed hanging his helmet over the handlebars.

‘Look at the lovely rainbow, isn’t nature beautiful’ his Mother said, looking into the sky, her arm around Jason’s shoulder.

April 29, 2022 07:29

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