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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2086244
A teen looks forward to seeing the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet.
The Airshow--573 Words

We've been waiting for days, ever since the big announcement. My little town of Kinderdijk is going to have an up close and personal look at the newest F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, or JSF. Well, really, much of the Netherlands is going to get a good look over the next three weeks, but they are making a special tour, showing off what our Euros are buying. This joint effort between us, the U.S., and several other allies has been an expensive and elusive mission, but the promises made by our defense minister will finally materialize--and I can't wait to see the results.

I've loved aviation since the first time I saw a plane on the telly. The idea that a metal leviathan can actually sustain itself in midair is something that my mind continues to struggle with. I'll be starting Delft University next year and I've already notified the school I'll be studying aerospace engineering. My parents are pleased that all the money they spent on airplane toys and books wasn't wasted.

I've been reading up on the F-35, but finding detailed information about the newest government aviation and weapons systems isn't easy, nothing more than what one with a moderate interest might find on the internet. But one day I know I'll get to sit inside one. One day I'll know more about the guts of an F-35 than a world class gastroenterologist knows about the human. One day, but until then, I'll just have to be satisfied with the flyby we will get today.

I'd begged my father to take me to Rotterdam for the big air show, but he insisted we'd get quite the show here in our own town, without all the hassle. I'm disappointed. VERY disappointed. But I can wait. Unlike the ever changing landscapes of oceans and deserts, the F-35, once finalized, will change very little. I can wait.

I have my small camera ready. It's not intended for these types of events, but when I tried to get something fancier, it was too late. Everything in town had been bought. Yes, I could buy this camera, but I'd need that lens and they were out. Oh, but they have this lens, but it only fits that camera, the last of which was sold yesterday. My town is a tourist town. Because of that, the population may appear to be more than it truly is. Because most tourists bring their own cameras, the options here are more limited than they would be if the population was all locals instead of mostly travelers.

In any event, I'll get my first look at this new flying machine and a bigger, better camera might cause me to look through the lens and experience this moment with that degree of separation that all photographers feel. I don't want to be distracted by anything. I'll take only a couple of quick photos, then simply bask in the sights, sounds, and if they are close enough scents, of this moment. I feel as if this moment is the beginning of what my entire existence has been preparing for. This is it and HERE THEY COME...

And...there they go...already. No time to photograph. No time to bask. Barely time to wave--if you're prepared. The pair weren't flying at their available mach 1.6, but they weren't doing what I'd consider a crowd-worthy flyover, either. We should have driven to the airshow in Rotterdam.

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