The Donaldsons - Cover

The Donaldsons

Copyright© 2022 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 6

Melinda stared at the craft thinking that it did look like a flying saucer. The flat body was twenty-five feet across with a dome in the center. The body was painted a solid flat black that didn’t reflect any light. The black dome reminded Melinda of a dark pair of sunglasses. Grudgingly, she said, “I will admit that it looks like a flying saucer.”

Mike went over and fiddled with something on the side. The next thing she knew, the domed top was swinging open to the back. Mike said, “There are a few design flaws, but you have to remember that I was in sixth grade when I built it.”

“What kind of design flaws?” Melinda asked wondering if the design flaws meant that the craft wasn’t safe to fly.

“Well, the footholds that I put in are too small for adult feet,” Mike said pointing to some indentations along the side.

“I guess that is understandable,” Melinda said lamely. She had been expecting something a little more substantial that she could use to claim that it didn’t fly.

“Let’s get in,” Mike said leading her over to one side of the craft.

“Are you sure it is safe?” Melinda asked feeling suddenly nervous.

“Yes,” Mike answered with confidence. He had been flying the little craft for years with very few problems. He added, “I just gave it a full maintenance check three weeks ago.”

“Okay,” Melinda said. She struggled up the side of the craft to reach the passenger seat. When her foot slipped out of the foothold, she said, “You’re right. The footholds are a little small.”

Mike said, “It would help if you weren’t wearing high heels.”

“I always wear high heels,” Melinda said defensively. There was no way that she could have predicted that the evening would include climbing into a flying saucer.

“I’ve noticed. They give you a well shaped calf,” Mike commented.

“High heels are expected of women in my position,” Melinda said. She was very careful to present a professional image at all times. Even around the house she tended to wear professional dress.

Not believing that for a minute, Mike said, “Right.”

“It is true,” Melinda said.

Mike said, “You’re the only woman in the company who enters the production area wearing high heels.”

“The only time I wear flats is when I’m in the gym,” Melinda said. Reaching down to give her a hand up, Mike took the opportunity to caress her calf. Melinda snapped, “Stop that.”

“Mom always said that it was safe to touch bare skin on a date,” Mike said grasping her foot and giving her a steady platform for climbing onto the craft.

“Your mom is wrong,” Melinda said indignantly. It was difficult looking graceful while climbing into the craft. She made it to the top and climbed into the seat. The seat was a tad tight.

“Mom is never wrong,” Mike said while coming around the side of the craft. “A woman sets the tone of the date by the clothes she wears. She knows exactly what she is offering with every square inch of skin that she’s showing.”

“I never heard it put like that,” Melinda said.

“Our family is rather honest about things like that,” Mike said.

Thinking about how every male in that family had talked to her, she said, “The men in your family are crude around women.”

“No, the men in my family are honest around women,” Mike said. “If we find a woman attractive, then we tell her so. The women are equally honest.”

“Your cousin Tripp is the most vulgar woman I’ve ever seen,” Melinda said. She had never seen anyone acting so overtly sexual in her life. Not even in those hard R movies did women act so aggressively.

“No, she’s not. She’s using every weapon in her arsenal to win the mating competition. Jimbo doesn’t stand a chance,” Mike said.

“It isn’t a competition,” Melinda said.

“It is the most competitive activity in which humans engage,” Mike said correcting her. He climbed into the craft and settled into the seat. It was a little snug, but he was used to it.

“I don’t like to think of it that way,” Melinda said. Mike looked at her and laughed. “What’s so funny?”

Mike said, “A women will wear all kinds of clothes, hairstyles, and make up to present herself in a more attractive manner to men than other women. The amount of money spent on beauty products exceeds seven billion dollars a year. That’s pretty significant when you consider that the majority of that is being spent by around forty million women.”

“It sounds kind of crass when you put it that way,” Melinda said. She couldn’t deny the numbers.

Mike said, “You might want to fasten your seatbelt.”

It took Melinda a moment to figure out the complex seatbelt. It was the same type of seatbelt used by race car drivers. She finally got it together. Mike reached over and pulled the straps tight. He said, “That’s better.”

“This is a substantial seatbelt,” Melinda remarked feeling the belt press her into the seat.

“All the better to protect your luscious body,” Mike said.

Deciding not to react to his comment, Melinda asked, “When are we leaving or are we just going to sit here and pretend to fly?”

Picking up a plastic coated checklist, Mike said, “As soon as we get through the checklist. Do you want to read it out to me?”

Taking the list, Melinda scanned the items on it. It seemed pretty substantial and complete. She read out the first item and watched Mike transform into a very serious minded individual. The process of working through the checklist took fifteen minutes. Once they were done with it, Mike said, “Hold on.”

Moving slowly, the craft left the garage and headed into the air. Melinda looked down into Mike’s backyard. Tripp and Jim were watching them leave. Tripp was smiling and waving at them. Jim looked like a cat at a dog kennel. In a way, she felt sorry for him.

The first thing that Melinda noticed about the flight was that it was remarkably smooth. Remembering early films of experimental craft like this bobbing and weaving all over the place, Melinda said, “I expected it to wobble a little.”

“Getting rid of that wobble was the most difficult part of getting it to work,” Mike said.

“How did you manage it?” Melinda asked. The ground moved past quickly under the craft. They were really moving along at a good speed.

“Believe me, it wasn’t easy,” Mike answered. He then launched into a technical description of how he managed to eliminate the wobble.

The next hour was spent having an extremely detailed technical discussion. The exchange was fast and furious. Despite her desire to keep from liking this irritating man, Melinda found the conversation extremely interesting. It had been ages since she had been able to engage in a discussion of this nature.

Mike navigated the craft towards New Mexico. Leaving the bright lights of the city behind, the stars overhead appeared to burst forth brighter. Melinda looked up at the sky through the dome and said, “Look at all of those stars.”

“It is amazing isn’t it?” Mike said. He turned the craft a little so that it was heading towards the west.

Noticing the slight change in direction, Melinda asked, “Why are we changing course?”

Although an aircraft could take a straight-line approach to a destination, the realities of flight often required taking a less direct approach. He said, “We want to avoid Amarillo.”


“Too many eyes,” Mike said looking down at his GPS system. He sighed and said, “It seems like everyone has a video camera. I’m sure that there are hours of footage of me flying around.”

“I now know that there are such things as flying saucers,” Melinda said with a small laugh. She wondered how many times she had argued against the existence of flying saucers while in college. It was kind of strange to think that she was now flying over empty countryside in one.

“How does it feel to be a little green man from outer space?”

Melinda laughed at the question. She imagined that if they were to stop and get out that someone would describe them like space aliens.

She asked, “So how many times have you been reported as a space alien?”

“Once or twice,” Mike said with a grin. He said, “I was rather offended by their description of me.”

“Scrawny with long limbs and a big head,” Melinda asked making reference to the description of the so-called grays.

“Right,” Mike said.

Melinda teased, “It sounds accurate to me.”

“I’ll have you know that I’m not scrawny,” Mike replied.

“I noticed that you didn’t deny that you have a large head,” Melinda said.

“My head is properly proportioned for my body,” Mike said. He glanced over at her and said, “Some women have compared me to Clint Eastwood.”

“In your dreams,” Melinda said despite the fact that the thought that he looked like Clint crossed her mind every time she saw him.

“I’m sure that I’ve starred in a few of your dreams,” Mike said.

“They are called nightmares,” Melinda said unable to suppress the blush that came unbidden.

“Right,” Mike said having noted the red blush that had spread across her face.

“Can we change the subject?” Melinda asked.

“Sure,” Mike said. He glanced at the clock and said, “I imagine that Jimbo is proposing to Tripp about now.”

“I doubt it,” Melinda said.

Mike said, “You forget that I live in a clothing optional community. I’m pretty sure that Tripp was naked before we were ten miles away.”

“I forgot about that,” Melinda said. She caught herself imagining what he looked like naked.

“I’m pretty sure that he didn’t struggle too much,” Mike said with a laugh. He could imagine the look on Jimbo’s face when he turned around and discovered Tripp standing there naked. The poor guy probably didn’t know whether he should run or drop to his knees.

“Men don’t struggle at all when faced with a naked woman,” Melinda said.

“Of course they don’t. Nature demands that men spread their seed as far and wide as possible,” Mike said.

Melinda had heard this discussion many times in the past. As if reciting some boring text, she said, “And nature demands that women attract mates who will take care of them.”

“That’s right,” Mike said.

“We are more than our biology,” Melinda said.

“I won’t disagree with that. However, I have found that when I’ve presented the appropriate signals that women are much more responsive,” Mike said with a grin. He would like to see her argue that.

“What kind of signals?”

“Doing things that demonstrate that I’m an alpha male,” Mike answered.

“Like what?” Melinda asked.

“Demonstrating my success by flaunting my money,” Mike said.

Melinda said, “That works only with gold-diggers.”

“Gold-diggers who are following a biological drive,” Mike countered. He glanced over at her and asked, “Do you know what works better than money?”

“What?” Melinda asked.

“Being honest about what I find attractive about a woman. It demonstrates a confidence that most men don’t project. Women find it irresistible,” Mike answered.

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