The Pale Blue Sky

by Jack Lynch

Part 6 - Carey and Connor, Chapter 4

Like the Wings of an Angel.

Scrubby yard, dirt driveway, peeling paint, plastic covering some of the windows to keep them from leaking. Add to that, a couple of broken down cars in the yard. Randy, Carey, and Connor glumly waited in the car while Scottie grabbed some clothes and other stuff for the week. His apartment was in the lower level of an old house near the edge of Town.

The sky had darkened giving the whole scene a netherworld quality. A sharp contrast to the blue skies and sunshine when they were on the lake.

They were soon on their way. Carey drove. Randy sat across from him in the front seat. Scottie behind Randy, Connor in the back behind Carey.

Traffic out of town crawled at first. Pretty quickly, it thinned out and soon they were up to speed as the road expanded from two lanes to a four-lane divided highway.

Scottie told stories about people he knew around the area. They basically divided into two groups: Townies and Lakers. Townies, of course, were the permanent residents. Working class folks, for the most part, who pulled the weight keeping the local economy humming. Lakers were the more affluent people who helicoptered into the area during "the season." They laughed as Scottie shared anecdotes about some of the crazy things both Townies and Lakers did.

"I need to get out of there," he finished by saying.

"What do you wanna do?" Randy asked.

Becoming more contemplative, "I'd really like to go to school for psychology. I found working with kids at that camp pretty interesting."

Connor gave him a hard stare.

Randy talked about his high school friends. Some were going to college, others to trade school. Quite a few others were going nowhere.

"I'm really looking forward to my year off." He said.

"I bet you're gonna become a doctor some day," Connor said. They all chuckled.

"I could see that," Carey said.

Carey's junior year in college was starting in a couple of weeks. He was leaving for school next week because he had decided to become a resident advisor for the year. That meant he got free room and a board stipend just for babysitting freshmen. Freshman orientation was next week. His declared major was Political Science. He was rather ambivalent about it. But, as he saw it, Poly Sci was a gateway major. Beyond? Law school, grad school, politics. Carey shrugged his shoulders as he checked the passing traffic in his side view mirror.

Connor went on and on about hockey. He loved to play. He was planning to work on stick handling and perfecting his wrist shot this year. Sixth grade was going to be "fat," in his words. After college, he was going to be an NHL star for the Boston Bruins or whoever else would pay him at least $100 million.

It was quiet for a moment. Scottie looked at Connor.

"What about the rest of your life?"

Connor smiled, dimple and all. "I'm gonna get married and have four boys."

Randy jerked his head at Connor, eyes bulging, and yelled, "Are you out of your mind?"

They all laughed. Carey looked across at Randy. He was turned slightly toward the back seat with his left knee up on the seat. Smiley eyes.

Looking in the rear view mirror, Carey saw Scottie with his right elbow up on the door and his hand resting on the side of his head. He was turned to Connor as he smiled with those gorgeous full lips.

Carey switched his gaze in the rear view mirror to Connor who was sitting directly behind him. His hands were in his lap. He was giggling as he looked at Randy. His blue eyes twinkled.

Carey's eyes came back to the road. Up ahead, to the left, in the opposing lanes of traffic. The strangest sight he'd ever seen. A large semi, an 18-wheeler, traveling in the opposite direction, had lost control and crashed through the guard rail next to the median. It was literally airborne. Heading straight for them.

Everything started to move in slow motion. The semi flew toward them ever so slowly. Suddenly, two giant wings emerged from each side of the truck trailer. They were covered in heavy white feathers. Like the wings of an angel. They flapped furiously up and down as they exerted their full force to help keep the truck aloft.

Carey's eyes were riveted to the truck as it grew closer. Fortunately, the wings seemed to be working. The semi's speed in the air slowed. It appeared to almost be hovering. As he turned his head more to his left, it looked like the truck was going to just miss them as it passed over and behind them. He watched it go by.

"Whew!" He said with relief. "That was close!"

Carey was in a movie theatre. Because there was a big crowd, he had been forced to sit in one of the first rows. He sat down and looked up at the massive white screen. It was so tall he couldn't see the top of it. When he looked to the left, the screen seemed to stretch further than he could see. None of the other seats in his row were occupied. When he turned to the right, it was the same.

Returning his gaze to the screen, Randy's face appeared. He was smiling. His special kind of smiley eyes. A white fog appeared. It slowly covered his face until only his eyes were visible. Then they slowly disappeared, too.

Scottie's face appeared next. More quickly, the fog obscured his face until just his lips were visible. His full sensuous lips parted. He appeared to say something. Carey wasn't sure but he thought he might be mouthing the word, "love." Just like Randy, the fog overtook his face entirely.

Connor was next. At least, he thought it was Connor. Ya, it was him. He couldn't see his face. All he could see was the back of his head as he ran away. Blonde curls bounced up and down off of his shoulders. He got smaller and smaller on the screen as the fog consumed him.

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