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Night Flight Mike
A novelette from Cheeseburger Brown
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Night Flight Mike, a novelette by Cheeseburger Brown, illustration by Matthew Hemming

CHAPTER 2

Three months after Christmas Mike's white sister India won the district spelling bee championship and Mike's black sister Bianca was warned that she was in danger of failing English. It was decided that both sisters would attend the Grand Bee in the big city, the former to make an attempt for the cup and the latter to be kept close by and out of trouble. As a corollary it was hoped that Bianca's spelling might improve after sitting through two days of master beeing.

Mike's parents made a generous offer: "We've decided that you're responsible enough to stay home alone. Mom will freeze you a set of dinners."

"If it's all the same," replied Mike, "I'd like to come along."

His parents looked at one another. "But you'll miss the science fair, honey," said Mother.

Mike shrugged. "Somebody else can win this year."

She took his temperature. Father was also concerned. "This is your chance to get away from the girls for a few days, champ. Don't you want to give independence a whirl?"

Mike considered this, rolling the glass thermometer from one side of his mouth to the other. "I wanch 'o shee uh shitty."

"Stay still," said Mother.

"You want what?" asked Father, furrowing his brow.

Mike's mother withdrew the thermometer and examined the grade seriously. "Normal," she declared.

"I want to see the city, Pop."

Father sighed. "I suppose he can sleep on the floor of our room, can't he?" He was thinking about his credit card.

Mother seemed nervous. "I've already frozen a quiche."

Father shrugged in unconscious imitation of Mike's conscious imitation of him. "It'll keep."


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