The Wonder of Flight

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“Quiet, please,” said the ageing man sitting at the head of the table. He tapped the glass in front of him and waited for its sound to fade away before he spoke again.

“You have been called here today by Mr Mellows to evaluate his new idea for us to market. Mr Mellows”

“Thank you. Since the dawn of time, man has envied the ability which only a select few creatures have, the ability to fly.

“Man has tried to fly before, none too successfully- take Icarus and his attempt to defy gravity. But I believe that it is possible. I have designed a machine which, despite its weight, can leave the ground for a period of time, with the added weight of two grown men.

“I have begun to build it but have nowhere near the money or resources to complete it alone. This is where I ask you to help me.”

The talk gradually drifted into the physics of the machine. Julius Ellison would normally have drifted off by now- the clients he had were usually either madmen or trying to sell ‘radical’ products which were in fact useless. He noticed that his six colleagues had all lost concentration, but he was enthralled.

The idea of flight had always excited him, ever since he saw the first bird, flying a thousand miles overhead, without a care in the world, he had wondered how they did it, and how he could.

Suddenly, he realised how lucky Mr Mellows was. How much money he would probably make from his design. Mr Ellison felt himself begin to shake. He found that thoughts he knew should never enter a sane mans mind beginning to emerge and swim around his brain, scaring him, as he didn’t know where they came from, or where they would lead…

Mr Ellison disposed of the seven bodies carefully, but in a respectable manner. He knew the sick irony in the fact that he was blessing the bodies which he had turned from people into empty shells, but he felt it necessary, coming from a religious background.

He began work at once, having spent all of his savings on the materials. He built the machine exactly to Mr Mellows’ specifications. Building the whole machine by hand took him two months and after 65 days, he tested it. He took it out on the foggy night of the 15th of November so that nobody could see the machine.

It was amazing. Truly amazing. He felt alive as he never had done and he wanted to stay up in the air forever, living a dream, living his dream. He only tested it once, he couldn’t risk anybody seeing it.

Mr Ellison was all ready to call some members of the press to invite to the unveiling when he realised that he needed a name for the machine. He would need to give a name to the press.

He decided to go to the library for inspiration. On the way, he saw a newspaper stand.

“Get your papers, hay-penny a go! ”

Mr Ellison glanced at the stand as he went past, looking at the headlines. A few words jumped out at him.

He carried on towards the library, letting the headlines imprint upon his brain when he realised he had seen an amazing name for the flying machine- ‘Aeroplane’.

He hurried back to the stand and hurriedly bought a paper.

Looking at the headline, he saw something which changed his whole attitude. He read down the article, his face gradually falling from concerned to horrified.

Wright Bros. Unveil ‘Aeroplane’

Yesterday, the Wright Brothers shocked the world with a machine named an ‘Aeroplane’ which actually flies. The amazing invention actually lifted off of the ground, as seen by hundreds of spectators. The Wright Brothers flew it

themselves and stayed in the air for a considerable amount of time. The brothers copyrighted the idea and the design. The ‘aeroplane’ was made in a factory using their fathers’ borrowed tools.

By Peter Robinson

Julius Ellison stared at the article, barely taking in what he had read. He had gone to so much trouble to steal the design and he hadn’t even got to market it. He had spent all his money.

Then he remembered the seven bodies buried at the bottom of the hill near his house. He realised that their lives had been wasted on a futile attempt to market a product which had already been marketed.

He walked slowly home, not even realising where he was headed. Images of the murders which he had committed flew through his mind. He couldn’t understand why. Why hadn’t his plan worked? Why had he been foiled? He arrived at his house but didn’t enter. He simply sat down and wept.

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