The Midnight Ride of Paul in Fear

Over the years, Connie and I have grown accustom to eating regular meals and sleeping indoors. Therefore, when Monday morning January 4th rolled around, I grabbed my lunch bucket and headed out the door whistling, “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.”

It’s been almost a week now since I’ve had a Holiday meal, or stuffed my jowls with homemade cookies or candy. The signs of withdrawal, involuntary twitching and salivating like Pavlov’s dog when passing a donut shop, are still strong, but becoming less frequent.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Dealer who offers a new photo each week in exchange for 100 word stories is the Pastry Queen herself, Strawberry Shortcake Wisoff-Fields. (be careful mentioning the “short” part). If you’re not afraid of addiction, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the poor souls incarcerated the FFF Hollywood Squares Cell Block, click here.

copyright - Melanie Greenwood
copyright – Melanie Greenwood

Pterodactyl Airlines may not pre-date the Wright Brothers, but the furnishings inside the plane were definitely from the Paleolithic era.

Our seats measured two hand-widths in breadth, or roughly the size of a five-gallon bucket. Once all the passengers had their butts firmly stuffed into buckets, the co-pilot rolled a large stone in front of the door and we taxied to the runway.

Upon being cleared for take-off, our captain revved-up all four squirrel-cage engines and released the hand brake. Even above the high-pitched screaming of the woman in bucket 8C, we could still hear the pilot yell “Yabba Dabba Do” when we achieved liftoff.


*an excerpt from the short story, Saving Hollywood



45 Comments on “The Midnight Ride of Paul in Fear

  1. I think I would’ve turned around and looked for another flight, myself… Doesn’t inspire confident, ya know?


  2. That’s nice that they still do flights for the modern stone age family. At least they’ll have a yabba dabba doo time.


  3. Once all the passengers had their butts firmly stuffed into buckets Boy, oh boy! did you ever capture the feel of air travel with that line. Very fun take, as usual.


  4. If they serve drinks from coconut shells, I might stay. Otherwise, I’m outta there! That’s if I can get out of that bucket seat. Very funny, Russell!


  5. Hilarious, Russell. I love hearing about Paleolithic Airlines. Flying it is different. Whenever I see ads for flights with beds, showers, and bars, I think they should start with the words, “for all of you who are filthy rich…” Well done, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne


  6. You didn’t mention the toilets, Russell. I’m assuming it was either a hole in bottom of the aircraft or of the ‘bucket and chuck it’ variety. Good luck with the detox. 😉


    • That’s one of their better features. Just remove the plywood seat cushion and use the bucket you’re sitting in. The cabin begins to smell like a livestock train by the time you land, but they recycle all the waste. It’s part of their “Go Green” program.


  7. Dear Fred

    I can picture the pterodactyl wings protruding from the sides of the aircraft and the pilots bare feet flailing in midair. That might very well be the airline we flew home in from Chicago.
    Being short does have its advantages, particularly when flying. I can pretty much curl up in the seats. That way I don’t have to worry about my feet dangling a foot above the floor. 😉
    Best wishes on your holiday treat withdrawal.


    Strawberry Short-Cake


  8. LOL. You should have added this line from the comments in the story: “each passenger is served a small, live animal and provided a wooden club.”

    Funny story. Enjoyed this.


  9. it’s a ride that most high school kids would love. it’s totally out of this world, uncomfortable, and unsafe. 🙂


    • No as cheap as I would have liked, but at least it was a direct flight. Occasionally, a crazy thought pops into my head.


    • Aw, come on, Perry. Did you used to be the HR guy for Pterocactyl? Weren’t you the one to conducted all those “team building” seminars?


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