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The Mission

Liv is pacing backwards and forwards in her bedroom, pausing to look angrily at the curtain blowing from the open window. Hearing a fluttering noise Liv marches over to the window to find a paper aeroplane stuck between the slats of the Venetian blind. Liv knows it’s from Eli and her first impulse is to throw it in the bin or better yet set fire to it, but she spots some writing on it.  Instead, she opens up the expertly folded plane to see the words sorry sis written in large letters. 

Liv’s phone vibrates, it’s a voice message from Eli. 

Hi Sis, I’m really sorry it was an accident, well kind of. I know Hannah was your favourite doll, but she was also exactly the right shape, size and weight for this mission. 

Liv gave a deep sigh and paused the message. Hannah wasn’t her favourite doll, Eli could be such a tool sometimes. Hannah was the last thing dad bought for her. Liv didn’t want to keep thinking about her dad so she pressed play.

The weather conditions were perfect for take-off,  Jakey and me did a proper countdown and everything. There’s some footage this time if …if you want to see it? I mean when you’re ready. There was nothing I could do Sis, honest. That pigeon was nowhere to be seen when we launched, all we could do was watch the collision and hope for the best.  

It could have been worse, at least we know, where Hannah is. Jakey and me are gonna start working on a rescue mission straightaway. It’s a shame because this was our best design…but we can do another one. We’ll have to modify the new design to get the angle right, you know for the slanted trajectory. We’ll get Hannah back and hopefully get the rocket down safely as well. Maybe a few days, maximum a week I reckon and I think I know how to handle any random pigeon problems. You’re gonna love it – hawk sounds! I know it’s genius even if I do say so myself.  We’re going for an unmanned flight this time, it’s probably for the best given the circumstances. Now I understand that you want me and Jakey to be working on this project non-stop until the rescue mission is complete and we both love the shed, of course, but … we’ll need more materials and it’s pretty cramped now all the bikes and the garden furniture are in here. I know you’re upset, and we did promise no more missions after the submarine incident, but I’m a scientist what can I tell you? You’re an artist, you know how these things work. 

Remember that time you repurposed mum’s original artwork from her course after we visited the Francis Bacon exhibition. By the way, and I said this at the time I fully supported your decision, that piece was hideous and mum needed to let it go. You’re not always been squeaky clean when it comes to your creativity either and I’ve been an unwilling accomplice on several occasions. I still have the scar on my forehead from helping you get that easel down from the loft. Then there’s that other time, when you tried to melt the good cutlery nan left to mum, for an installation piece, I was grounded for a month. And while I know we swore a blood oath never to speak of it again, glitter-gate – that’s all I’m saying! 

Look, Sis, I know you are upset we’ve had our issues but we have to come to some kind of agreement something that works for both of us. I’m just spitballing here, but maybe alternate days? No, no, forget I said that it’s a stupid idea. We should pool our resources, we have different skills but that doesn’t mean we can’t work together. But, well…we’ll have to share. Now I know that’s a dirty word to you, being the oldest and all that, but what’s the alternative? Go on as we are, getting in each other’s way – appropriating each others’ resources as and when we see fit? 

It’s starting to rain and there’s a leak in here, please sis. I don’t know what the big fuss is about anyway; she’s only a doll you don’t even play with her anymore she’s been sitting on the bookshelf for ages. She was dying for a bit of adventure and I gave it to her, she on top of the world now… technically next door’s roof extension but we all need a change of scenery. Come on sis, Jakey’s getting hungry now and eyeing up bits of cardboard as his next food source,  Jakey, no! Okay, think about it this way, together we can come up with better solutions to get rid of mum’s new boyfriend. I know you dislike that idiot even more than I do. The rain is really heavy now, I think we’re in for a storm and Jakey will not do well in thundery conditions so if you don’t want to clean up after him I suggest…

Liv stops the recording.

Eli hears the bolts on the shed door slide back and the padlock release. He stands up and faces the door. Jakey quickly spits out the cardboard he’s been chewing and crouches behind Eli. The door creaks open, Liv is standing in the pouring rain holding a large umbrella over her head. That idiot has got to go, what’s the plan?”  Eli smiles and nods.

“I have a few options I think you might like…I’m really sorry sis…Dad isn’t coming back you know.” Liv shifts awkwardly

“I know…but we need to get rid of that idiot anyway, what kind of name is Spyder for a middle-aged man, it’s embarrassing.”

Sensing the danger has passed, Jakey rushes past Liv out into the rain. Eli and Liv both laugh and chase after him. 

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