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Night Flight Mike
A novelette from Cheeseburger Brown
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Night Flight Mike, a novelette by Cheeseburger Brown, illustration by Matthew Hemming

PLEASE NOTE: This story touches on some adult themes. Reader discretion is advised.

CHAPTER 1

Two weeks before his first wet dream, Mike Zhang Cuthbertson escaped from the custody of his adoptive parents and became a briefly burning nightclub hero.

The idea had come to him through the television: a pretzel-plot sit-com chosen by his white sister India when her turn came up. On the periphery his black sister Bianca glowered and fretted, anxious to resume televisual control in order to pursue documentaries about things that explode.

On the screen a straitlaced teenager took the opportunity of a family vacation to sneak into the hotel discotheque, ending up drunk and gyrating on tabletop for a rowdy audience when her parents showed up for the third act's retrieval and retribution routine. "That is so not believable," snorted Bianca.

"Why?" asked India listlessly, lolling on the couch.

"Because nerds can't dance."

India considered this, the light of commercials flashing in her eyes. "Even when they're drunk?"

"Especially then," confirmed Bianca. "Now give me the remote."

"There's still more show."

"Just the credits."

"I want to hear the ending music. I like it."

Mike looked up from his homework and adjusted his glasses seriously. He was wondering whether or not he was a nerd, and therefore whether or not he possessed the ability -- or even the desire -- to gyrate on a tabletop. He absently pulled his feet out of the way as his sisters rolled across the rec room carpet, pulling each others' hair and screeching.

A seed had been planted in young Mike's sharp mind, and in those meanders it would find firm root.




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