The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate- FIRST LOOK

  The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate

 

I Felt Like a Marshmallow Wrapped in a Doily

 

Pg. 103-108

     

As Rose and I tied him back to the wheel, we heard a thump and a splat.

 

“What was that?” Rose asked.

 

I looked up at the far right corner of the picture window. There was something stuck to it, something yellow and white and mushy. I pointed it out to Rose, and she made a face.

 

“Oh no,” she groaned. “Did we just hit a bird or a giant bug?”

 

“I don’t think so.”

 

“Then what is it?” Rose asked.

 

“It looks like a banana.”

 

“That’s nonsense, W.B.,” Rose scoffed. “What would a banana be doing up here in the sky?”

 

“Maybe a large bird was carrying it?”

 

“Why would a bird throw a banana at us?”

 

“Maybe it thought we were hungry?”

 

Before anyone could respond to that, the picture window was suddenly hit by five more bananas, as well as an orange, an apple, several strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and a squishy old pear. Following the fruit salad attack, a series of inedible things began to beat against the Baron Estate as well: rocks, pebbles, sticks, empty bottles, and chunks of coal. We could hear it clattering against our other walls and our roof, hitting us from every imaginable direction. The sound echoed throughout the house like hail on a tin roof.

 

“We’re under attack!” P declared. “Those bananas are a classic sign of gorilla warfare!”

 

We once again looked out the picture window of the work garage and realized that we were surrounded by unfriendly flying machines. And then we understood what was happening. The other inventors had apparently joined together to take out the competitor who they believed to be the biggest threat to win the race: us. They were going to stop us, one way or another, even if it meant knocking us out of the sky like we were an empty can sitting on a fencepost.

 

We watched as the inventors of the winged train car slid open their windows and hurled their lunches at us, perfectly good ham sandwiches, potato salad, and soft boiled eggs splattering on top of our roof. The men in the little, pedal-powered helicopter device began to throw marbles at our picture window, trying their best to shatter it. A pair of old ladies in a winged canoe flew over and began to bat at the Baron Estate with their paddles.

 

Those attacks were merely annoying (as well as a terrible waste of good food), but then we heard something that made us all gasp so hard that I’m pretty sure we sprained our vocal cords.

 

It was the terrifying BOOM of a cannon being fired.

 

We looked out of the eastern window of the work garage and saw one of the largest flying machines in the race: a pirate ship which was attached to a hot air balloon. It appeared to be an authentic pirate ship, complete with functional cannons poking out from the sides. We could see the inventors on that ship loading and lighting their cannons and aiming them straight at us.

 

I screamed. Rose screamed. M, who couldn’t see what was happening because she was tied to the table, screamed as well. Only my father remained calm.

 

“P! You have to land the Baron Estate!” I cried. “They’re going to blow us out of the sky!”

 

“Hmmmm,” P hummed to himself, which he often does when he’s just had an amusing thought.

 

“What is it?” I said.

 

“I’ve just had an amusing thought.”

 

We all paused for a moment to hear what his amusing thought was, with the marbles and fruit and rocks and garbage and canoe paddles still tattooing the outside of the Baron Estate.

 

BOOM!

 

The pirate ship’s cannons exploded again, and three cannonballs whizzed right by us, missing the Baron Estate only by a few feet. One of the cannonballs hit a small flying machine directly behind us, creating a large hole right in the center of its wing. A few seconds later, the small flying machine dropped from the sky like an exhausted seagull.

 

“McLaron?” M said through gritted teeth.

 

“Yes, my little muffin?”

 

“What’s your amusing thought?”

 

P laughed to himself.

 

“Oh, I was just thinking about how predictable these inventors are. I knew they might try something like this, so when I was working on the flying Baron Estate’s design, I included a series of weapons which would protect the entire house from an aerial attack. I built little hidden cannons all along the base of our home. Do you see that red button on the wall? If you press it, all of those little cannons will fire at once.”

 

“They will?” Rose asked. “So we’re saved! That’s fantastic, Mr. Baron! W.B., go press the button!”

 

“Well . . . it would be fantastic,” P continued, “but I never loaded the cannons with ammunition. I was going to put some rocks or pellets in them, but then I forgot.”

 

All of our hearts sank. One of the pirate ship cannons fired yet again, and this time we heard a crunching sound from overhead. The entire Baron Estate shook.

 

“I think it clipped the chimney,” M said in a worried tone. “McLaron, are you seriously telling me that we can’t fight back? There’s nothing in our cannons?”

 

“Well, not nothing,” my father admitted, his face turning a bit pink from embarrassment (and also because the wheel had spun around halfway and he was turned upside down).

 

“Remember how you’re always telling me to clean up after Magnus when he makes his . . . ahem, messes right outside the kitchen window? Well, I didn’t want to have to scoop up all of that waste and carry it over to the barn, so I just quickly shoveled it into the cannon chambers instead.”

 

“You filled our cannons with horse plop?” I asked.

 

“I’m afraid so,” said P. “I guess I got a bit lazy. If we survive this attack, I’ll be sure to clean them out the next chance I get.”

 

I looked at M. M looked up at Rose. Rose looked at me and nodded her head.

 

Before the flying pirate ship could fire another cannonball, I rushed to the red button on the wall and pushed it.

 

I won’t go into detail about what happened next. Let’s just say that the other inventors stopped bothering us after that.

 

Never underestimate the power of flying horse plop.

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