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Jamie hated airshows. Her father loved them. Her father was always dragging her to airshows, and being a little girl she didn’t protest. But she hated them. She hated the crowds, and the large menacing metal rooms. But most of all she hated the terrifying hawkish machines, whether they were in flight, on the ground, or huddled in the cavernous hangars. When her father took her into the larger planes for tours, she worried that the plane would swallow her up forever. The flying planes were like messengers of doom. The impassioned voice of the airshow announcer was foreboding. Worst of all were the occasional explosions.

The only thing worse than being stuck at an airshow was being lost at an airshow. At four years old, she didn’t have any reason to expect to be looked for. She didn’t know that children get lost at airshows all the time, and most are quickly found unharmed. Jamie quickly lost track of time, forgetting how she got there and when the last time she saw her father was.

Not knowing what to do, Jamie turned to what had always been her first instinct at airshows: hiding. There was a small propeller-driven monoplane, painted bright red. Though it was one of the dreaded machines, Jamie was not as frightened of this craft. In some ways it looked like a marvelous wooden toy. Jamie hid underneath the plane.

She was discovered by a man wearing a suit and top hat. The man said he was the pilot of this plane, and invited Jamie to come inside for a tour. Jamie hesitated. Even at four years old she knew such a small plane could not have much to see inside, and as lovely as the plane was, it was still one of the dreaded airshow machines. When she explained, as best as she could, that she was lost, the man kindly offered to let her wait at the plane for her father.

A few hundred yards away, another plane was doing tricks. Jamie knew something was wrong. The dread she felt when watching aerobatics was even greater than usual. The plane’s angle of attack was wrong. Jamie shut her eyes and covered her ears in preparation for what she knew as about to happen.

Jamie heard the crash, and the cries of the crowd, and her own screams. When she finally uncovered her ears and opened her eyes, she was inside the red plane, in a small passenger compartment. “It’s okay, you’re safe now”, the man in the top hat said as he held a rag over her face. As Jamie fell asleep, the man pushed her into a hidden floor compartment and closed the door. It was almost time to fly off into the evening sky. Pilots would be told to check their planes for the missing girl, but they would not find this girl who hated airshows.

Written and migrated by HopelessNightOwl Reddit page]