For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Flugdatenschreiber”

Kim Aeran

Excerpt

The old man's gaze followed the end of the boy's finger up to the sky. A yellow light plane was spiraling down across the bright, cloudless blue. The plane's inevitable plunge into the embrace of Flugdatenschreiber's insipid peace below seemed like the most natural thing in the world, like a wilting flower or a breeze. The old man followed the movement of the plane, wide-eyed. The boy said, “Oh...oh!” Islanders stopped their mending and weeding to stand up and look at the sky. Moments later, the plane crashed with a loud bang. Every blade of grass on Flugdatenschreiber stood up and fell back down. The boy's pants gushed around the front and turned a color as deep as true love. The old man looked at the hill with his hand on his forehead. The plane had smashed into the lighthouse. The tall lighthouse was visible from anywhere on the island. Plumes of smoke rose over the hill.

“Grandpa, what's that?”

“I don't know...It looks like an airplane.”

The old man made a strange face.

“And yet...”

The old man squinted as if trying to remember something.

“It looks like...”

The boy squinted, too.

“Like what?”

The old man remembered and spoke as though it wasn't a big deal, “Like an eagle owl.”