The path to the hangar was marked by a road of cobblestone with soft turf growing from between the gaps of the smooth rocks. Dew was already forming on each leaf and under the lights it seemed like colorful water pearls on the ground. The hangar’s main structure was a wooden skeleton with packs of haystack tied to the vertical wood beams supported on the ground. The roof was pyramid-shaped and the material that covered it was dried palm tree tied together on the bamboo frame of the roof. The material was lighter and sturdier; it also provided a different and agreeable texture and aesthetic to the gloomy look of the hangar.
Daniel got to the hangar and waited for his sister before unlocking the gate. Both of them got inside into the surrounding darkness. Aimee could already smell the distinct odor of Dust; she waited in the darkness with a hammering heart. Daniel reached the far left of the wall and turned the handle protruding from the wall counterclockwise. The soft creaking of metal cogs and gears flooded into the black stillness. One of the things that fascinated Aimee was the clockwork behind the structure of the roof, designed by her mother long time ago. The roof slowly opened up and allowed the night air and light illuminate the most beautiful flying ship Aimee had ever seen and was proud that her family had the fortune of owning it, the Light Chaser.
Aimee couldn’t get over her surprise every time she saw it. It was a beautiful ship made of polished, light color wood. Strictly speaking, it was the cross of a sloop and a galleon, measuring approximately 106 feet in length and the longest mast measuring 25 feet. The front and back of the ship was armored with a metal exterior to hold the ship while on the ground, it has a long and sharp bowsprit in the front. The Light Chaser had one main mast, holding the top sail and the main fore sail, and along with the two other supplementary masts, it held two envelopes spread horizontally and tied from each corner to each mast.
Two small detachable aft sails were attached to the back side of the ship for better steering when in the air. The Dust gatherer in the center of the ship served as the storage for the recollected Dust, and was also like a furnace that had to be feed with Dust for it to be able to fly and sail. Two propellers were strapped on either side of the ship and onto the Dust gatherer; it made it look like the ship had a saddle on. Two large pipes sat atop the Dust gatherer, pointing their openings at the horizontal sails over them. There was a small cabin at the end, where the helm was located. Across the deck, several sacks and large empty baskets cluttered the space. The front part of the ship was devoted for a high platform that used stairs to reach it. It was where the Light Harvester was found. The Light Harvester had the shape of a nautilus shell shape, with a tube running directly into the Dust gatherer. A simple wooden balustrade formed a semi-circle around it, the bowsprit seemed to grow from the center of the Harvester and spread outward, as if challenging the sky.
Daniel was amused and proud when he saw the awed expression on her sister’s face; he never grew tired of it. The size of the ship was not startling, but the mechanics and the structure was a source of fear and intimidation. He remembered when Aimee brought her friend Eliana home for dinner and decided to show her the Light Chaser, Eliana was scared. The shape of the ship gave her a sense of admiration and trepidation, she loved to hear adventure stories of flying ships and airships but when she was presented to one, and offered to ride on it, she had grown cold with fear and rejected the idea vehemently.
“Too late to chicken out, sis,” Daniel said, climbing the rope ladder that hung from one side of the ship.
Aimee was speechless, she was overwhelmed with emotion. Great part of her childhood was spent in this hangar playing on the ship and fixing it with her father if something was wrong. She had always dreamt of sailing it in the sky, but one thing was dreaming of flying as opposed to actually doing it. She never expected that any of her dreams would come true, and now that it had, it was difficult to know what to feel in this kind of situation or how to handle it correctly. Maybe the first step was stop thinking too much and just live the dream as long as you can.
“Who said anything about chickening out?” Aimee walked briskly after her brother and hoisted her body trembling with excitement up the rope ladder. Her feet touched the deck and she felt exhilarated. She wanted to explore everything again, just like when she was a child, but her brother stopped her.
“We’re out of schedule,” he said, “first I will teach you how to sail it and when we are airborne I will let you explore all you want.” He walked around the gatherer and stood behind the helm. Aimee stood beside him, eager for him to start blurting whatever he knew about steering and maneuvering a ship. He looked at her affectionately, not as a little sister anymore, but as a fellow air sailor and companion. “First thing you should know; if you vomit during flight, I will throw you overboard.”