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Chapter Four
Flight Fantastic
by June Vernau

Chapter Two

“That’s it, dad!” Daniel shouted from the back of the car.
“That’s the guesthouse.”
“He’s right,” said Daniel’s Grandad.
“It looks just like the photo in the brochure.”
“Well, if you’re both sure.”
Daniel’s dad turned the car into the driveway.
“Looks like our journey’s ended. We’re finally in Bognor Regis.”
“Dad, can we go down to the beach?”
“No, we can’t go anywhere until we’ve unpacked. So don’t go running off. Let’s get the luggage into the guesthouse first.”
Daniel’s dad climbed out of the car and walked round to the boot.
“Have we got bunk beds, Dad?” Daniel followed him.
“Can I sleep on the top?”
“Well, I can assure you that I don’t want to sleep on the top,” said Grandad. “I’m not an astronaut!”
“We’ll sort out the beds later,” said Daniel’s dad, handing Daniel his bag.
“Let’s get this lot inside first. When you’ve taken yours you can help your Grandad with his luggage.”
“It’s okay, I can manage.”
Grandad reached into the boot and heaved out a large suitcase.
“You go on, Daniel.”
“Hello there!” Mrs. Right, the guesthouse owner, called from the door.
“Had a good journey?”
“Yes, thank you,” said Daniel’s Grandad, struggling to carry his heavy case up the steps.
“We met a bit of traffic on the way but not bad at all.”
“Bring your bags inside and I’ll show you to your rooms,” said Mrs. Right, walking back into the hallway.
“I’m expecting some more late arrivals. There’s a young man coming all the way over from America to take part in the Bognor Birdman Competition.”
“My son’s taking part in the contest,” said Grandad.
“He’s doing a charity jump for Save the Children.”
“Well, it’s all in a good cause,” said Mrs. Right.
“But you wouldn’t get me leaping off that pier into the sea. I hope someone wins the top prize this year.”
“I’m planning to do just that!” a voice came from behind them.
Daniel turned to see a tall, dark haired, young man standing in the doorway.
“Are you the contestant all the way from America?” asked Daniel’s Grandad.
“I am indeed. Name’s Dave.” The young man reached out to shake Grandad’s hand.
“I thought I’d save my energy for the competition. So I flew over on a jet plane.”
The young man laughed.
“Mind you, I’ve got a fair set of wings in that bag.”
He pointed to the long, grey holdall on the floor beside him.
“I think I stand a good chance of winning.”
“He stands a good chance of getting wet!” A red haired, young woman called from the steps.
“Marilyn, come and meet another flyer.”
Dave beckoned the young woman into the hallway.
“Pleased to meet you.”
Marilyn reached forward to shake Daniel’s dad’s hand.
“Is this your family?”
“We’re his chief fans,” said Grandad.
“We’re here as supporters. Though, I must admit, I’m looking forward to the entertainment this weekend.”
“I can’t wait,” said Marilyn. I think it will be great fun!”
“Are you flying?” asked Grandad.
“Me?” Marilyn laughed.
“I’m only a mere newspaper reporter. Dave dragged me along to take photos. He wants a record of his flight and I’m going to write an article for my newspaper back home in New York.”
“New York city? A long way to come for the competition,” said Grandad. “You must be very enthusiastic, Dave.”
“Which class are you in?” asked Daniel’s dad.
“I finally managed to persuade them to put me in the serious flyer’s class - The Magnificent Flight,” said Dave.
“At first they were going to put me in the Leonardo da Vinci Class.”
“That’s the class for the most original craft design,” said Daniel’s dad.
“I’m afraid I come under the fun section - the Kingfisher class.”
“But you still stand a chance of winning the jackpot prize,” said Grandad.
“Anyone who flies more than a hundred metres can win the top prize.”
“Dad won’t win,” said Daniel.
“He’d need an engine and that’s not allowed.”
“Quite right,” said Grandad.
“No cheating in this contest - it’s supposed to be man-powered flight.”
“Anyway, people in the Kingfisher Class don’t win,” said Daniel. “They dress up like hedgehogs and pink pigs and jump off the pier for fun.”
“You never know,” said Grandad. “Someone dressed as a big hedgehog or a giant dragon might just surprise all of you. What’s your suit like, Dave?”
“You’ll be able to see it tomorrow. It’s tucked away for the night.”
He patted the grey holdall at his feet.
“I’m going to need a lot of car park space in the morning to spread these wings out.”
“You’ll have to wait until all the visitors have gone out for the day,” said Mrs. Right.
“Now, are you all ready to see your rooms? It’s getting late and my dog needs walking.”
“You lead the way.” Daniel’s dad picked up his bag.
“I’m right behind,” said Marilyn.
“I’m pretty tired after a long flight across the Atlantic.”
“Come on then, Daniel.” Grandad lifted his heavy case from the floor.
“Beat you to the top.”
“No way!” Daniel reached down to grab his bag and race for the stairs. But something bright and shiny on the hall carpet caught his eye. He bent down and picked up it up.
“Does this belong to anyone?” He held up a bronze bracelet.
“It’s got rows of crystals on it.”
“I think that belongs to me.” Dave looked over Daniel’s shoulder.
“I must have dropped it when I came in.”
“Is it a calculator?” asked Daniel, as he handed Dave the bracelet.
“There’s numbers all over it.”
“Not exactly,” said Dave, pushing the bracelet onto his wrist.
“Just say it could bring me luck this weekend.”
“You don’t want to lose that,” Daniel’s dad called from the top of the stairs.
“You’re going to need all the luck you can get for the Bognor Birdman Competition!”