A Short Book About a Long Life
by Waverly Huff
Chapter 4: Land of the Giant Something-or-Others
Orlando International Airport isn’t that far from Kissimmee. It used to be small. Not Franky Fly small but pretty small nonetheless. But that was before Walt Disney World and Gator World and Armadillo World and Hummingbird World brought everybody and their cousin to North Central Florida.
Nowadays more than 35 million passengers a year use the airport. There are no records of the number of flies that frequent the terminal but on that warm summer day there was at least one.
Franky Fly was tired. It was hard work following the giant silver something-or-other all the way from Kissimmee to this place. Luckily, he was able to glide on the wind currents much of the time which meant he didn’t have to flap his wings quite so much.
And when the giant silver something-or-other finally touched the ground, Franky Fly gasped in amazement. There must have been a hundred more giant something-or-others on the ground as well. Most were silver but some were red or blue or white. Some were mauve or turquoise or plum. And some were colors Franky Fly had never seen before.
Franky Fly wanted to get a closer look at the giant something-or-others but those that weren’t moving were attached to a big building with what looked like cocoons. He figured he’d have to get inside the big building first.
There were lots and lots of humans scurrying around in front of the big building so he flew around until he spotted a large man who was obviously in a hurry. He was dragging two large boxes and didn’t seem very happy. He huffed and puffed and was sweating a lot.
Franky Fly flew around in a spiral pattern to match the human’s speed and direction and then landed on his hair. The large man continued to drag and huff and puff and sweat and didn’t seem to notice Franky Fly at all. Franky Fly walked to the front of the human’s head to get a better look and the human still didn’t seem to react.
“Oh, oh,” Franky Fly gasped. The human was about to crash into the side of the big building … when a part of the big building slid open with a whoosh.
It was Franky Fly’s first encounter with an automatic door and he was very impressed. He was wondering how it knew the human was approaching when the large man stopped in his tracks. He let go of the two large boxes. With one hand he unbuttoned his shirt collar. With the other hand he reached in his pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief.
The large man was still huffing and puffing as he rubbed the white handkerchief across his face and around his neck. He looked around quickly before he did something that startled Franky Fly so much he couldn’t move a muscle.
The human lifted his hair – with Franky Fly still on it – completely off his head for a moment as he wiped the white handkerchief over his bald head.
“No wonder this human couldn’t feel me walking on his head,” Franky Fly said in amazement. “What I thought was his hair was really a hair hat. Humans are so very odd.”
Franky Fly decided the time was right to go higher so he flew up until he landed on a long beam that stretched between two of the big building’s walls.
He wasn’t there a moment when he heard high, squeaky voices to his left.
“Excuse me, sir. Do you know the way out of this very strange place?”
Franky Fly turned to see two identical bright orange-yellow dragonflies staring back at him.
“Are you … dragonflies,” Franky Fly asked anxiously?
“I’m Dorothea Dragonfly,” said one of them.
“And I’m Desdemona Dragonfly, “ said the other.
Franky Fly took a few steps backward, ready to fly off at any moment.
“I’m not so sure I should be talking to you,” Franky Fly said.
“And why not,” said Dorothea or Desdemona?
“Are you impolite, stuck-up or just anti-dragonfly,” added Desdemona or Dorothea?
“I’m just a wee bit afraid,” Franky Fly allowed. “After all, dragonflies – which is what you are – eat flies – which is what I am.”
Dorothea or Desdemona looked at Desdemona or Dorothea for a while before they both laughed hysterically.
(To be continued)