The schoolyard bully laughed, fly, little chicken, fly.
Deep tried to flap his arms but they were thin and could not move. He closed his eyes rather than look at that hated visage. This was the third time he had been knocked down during recess by the fat boy.
“Fly chicken fly” he always said. Usually, Deepti would come in and the boy would let Deep rise.
The dreams had started soon after, which was when his parents had got wind of the whole affair and had changed his school.
Deep woke, the sheets were damp with his sweat. He threw off the covers and scrambled to his balcony. The dream was recurring and had become ultra-vivid ever since the completion of his one-man vehicle. He had not told anyone when they had started. He had been too busy raising funds for his idea of a flying vehicle. Most people called it a drone but then it was not that. It was more, a pod, a something else. Basically, it was a low flying thing which would get you from point a to point b moving at a height of 100 feet with a speed of 100 kmph.
Deep was careful, with his limbs, they were indeed thin thanks to his Cushing’s syndrome. The whole idea of the vehicle had been borne when he had gotten stuck while visiting his favourite sweet shop which was at the end of a narrow street.
Deep could not remember who the bully had been. Had it been Girish, Rajeev or Ramu? He did not have his class yearbook and it was not a time he wanted to revisit. The days of St. Mark’s elementary school were more than 20 years behind him.
It was almost dawn and he saw no reason to delay the test flight. He eased into the machine, grabbed his phone, and tapped at the touch screen. He was soon soring over Delhi and then towards the town of Meerrut. That was where he could do some serious testing. The government was not happy about people flying anything without its explicit permission in Delhi thanks to its airport. The chances of interfering with a commercial airliner were deemed unacceptable.
Ramu Dat, photographer had started early. He wanted a ride and had to test his new camera. He was careful to avoid all the trucks and took a shortcut through the fields. His eyes shifted constantly, and it was a wonder that he was able to focus on anything when taking a photograph. He reduced his speed and took up the camera. He looked through the eye-peace, focusing on the road. That was better, he was shielded by the camera.
A beggar child approached his bike and looked up at the camera.
“You go away, or I call Poooolice!!” bellowed Ramu.
The boy turned away and shuffled off. Ramu gunned his bike and tore off down the highway. He had not gone far when his attention was arrested by a light in the sky.
A UFO he thought and then he saw the thing. It was pointed in the front, had a bubble shaped middle, and had some kind of tale. It was coming towards him. He raised his camera and clicked madly. This was going to be his ticket to fame and fortune.
As it dropped, he could see that it had 4 propellers.
Deep knew he had to land. The antenna that gave him GPS signals had to be realigned. He was close to the ground and was lining up to land when he was blinded by a bright flash. As his vision returned, he saw the man with the camera. The fool was taking picture after picture. Deep was blinded again and lost control. He slammed into Ramu, who fell sideways. Deep swiped back and managed to land safely. He eased himself out of the craft. He turned the man over.
The face was familiar though it had aged, and the moustache was new.
He looked into Ramu’s eyes and as they flickered with recognition, he asked
“Who is chicken now?”
The above story arose thanks to a writing prompt I got from one of my writing groups. The prompt was dreams. My neurons however seem to have had other ideas.