Flying

Mike soared through the sky on his broomstick. He had finally mastered the art of flying one, which had to be part of every witch's life, no matter what the gender was. He flew through the night sky, looking down at the world below, enjoying every minute of it. Suddenly, dark clouds filled the air. Thunder and lightning appeared out of nowhere. Mike tried to get out of the storm, but it was no use. A bolt of lightning zapped out of the clouds, and hit the back of Mike's broom. That was all it took for him to lose control. He plummeted downward, straight out of the sky. The ground grew closer, closer, and closer until finally . . . . .

CRASH!

Once Mike crash landed on the floor, he woke up from his dream. That also woke Phyllis up.

"Mike, you all right?" she asked.

"Yeah," Mike said, standing up. "I'm okay. Just dreamin' again."

"What was it this time?"

"I actually mastered the art of flyin' a broomstick."

"That'll be the day."

"You think I can't do it?"

"Well, you always crash whenever you try."

Mike didn't answer. He just climbed back into bed and went back to sleep. At the studio, he was telling the others about his dream.

"I'm gonna be able to fly a broomstick one of these days," he said.

"Do you witches still fly broomsticks?" Jerry asked, reading a script. "I thought they'd be a little more up to date by now."

"Well, some still do broomsticks," Mike said. "My cousin, Sabrina, flies a vacuum cleaner."

"And you fly a broom."

"Give me a break, Jerry. Any witch can take a broom and turn it into a mode of transportation. You have to buy enchanted vacuums and the prices of those are ridiculous."

Jerry laughed, shook his head, and went back to reading the script. Mike went over to his dressing room, and picked up his spell book. There had to be something in there about the art of flying a broomstick. At noon, he decided to just take a broom, go out back, and attempt to fly it. Reggie, Micky, and Jerry were with him, giving him moral support. Plus, they wanted to see how it was done. Mike explained what he was doing as he was doing it.

"First you gotta straddle this sucker," he said. "Kinda like when you get on a horse."

"See, now that's something I know nothing about," Jerry said. "But please, continue."

"Thank you," Mike said. "Anyway, after you're standin' like this, you pick it up, hold it, and squeeze it."

"Squeeze it?" Micky asked.

"Yeah," Mike said. "That's how us witches get it goin'. We transfer some of our magic into regular brooms to make 'em fly."

"Oh."

"Now stand back. My take offs need work."

"So do your landings," Jerry said.

Mike glared at Jerry. He squeezed the broom, and concentrated as hard as he could. The broom began to rev up, like a motorcycle. Then it a split second, it shot straight upward. Micky, Reggie, and Jerry stared at him in surprise. It was obvious Mike needed more practice, since he didn't know exactly how to handle the broom. The three of them ran after him, making sure he didn't get hurt. Mike flew straight into the park, gripping the broom for dear life. Micky, Reggie, and Jerry ran into the park after him.

"Mike! Why don't you just land that thing?!" Reggie called.

"I don't know how!" Mike shouted. With that, Mike crashed directly into a tree.

"Ooohhhhhhh," Micky, Reggie, and Jerry grimaced.

Mike groaned, and climbed out of the tree, broomstick in his hand, and kitten resting in his wool hat.

"You've got a cat on your head," Micky said, taking it off.

"It was stuck up the tree," Mike said, brushing the leaves off of him. "I got it down. Good thing I crashed, huh?"

"More or less," Jerry said. "Mike, I think I know the problem."

"What's that?"

"You don't know what the heck you're doing. I mean, you have absolutely no control over that broom!"

"You're right. I need professional help. There's only one person to call."

"Ghostbusters?" Micky asked.

"No!" Mike yelled. "Aunt Kate! Come on, you guys."

Mike, Micky, Reggie, and Jerry went over to Mike's aunt's house, hoping she'd be able to help him control the broom. They talked to her about the problem.

"Michael, I know you've been wantin' to learn to drive that broomstick," Kate said. "But I can't help you. I'm too old to ride a broomstick."

"Aunt Kate, you're only in your late forties!" Mike shouted. "That's not old!"

"You actually know how old your aunt is?" Jerry asked. "Sheesh!"

"Shut up," Mike said. "Come on, Aunt Kate! You have to teach me. You know Mom's not around, and you're the only one I know who can help!"

"Why don't you get in touch with Sabrina? You know she's pretty good at flyin'."

"Sabrina flies a vacuum! I fly a broom!"

"Look, Michael, the only thing I can tell you to do is practice. That's all I can say."

Mike sighed, took his broom, and left. He decided to get in touch with his cousin Sabrina in Massachusetts.

"Hi, it's me," he said when she picked up the phone.

"Mike?" Sabrina asked.

"You got it, babe. So how's my favorite cousin?"

"Not bad. You?"

"Same. Get this. I'm tryin' to get the hang of flyin' a broomstick!"

"Man, you're living in the dark ages!"

"Well, we can't make every day ordinary vacuum cleaners fly like every day ordinary brooms, you know. Ain't my fault you got an enchanted vacuum. Besides, brooms are more traditional."

"You're still living in the dark ages."

"Aw, shut up."

Sabrina just laughed, and she and Mike then got into a conversation about what had been going on since their last letters to each other. This was how they caught up with each other, seeing is how Mike hadn't seen Sabrina since the last family reunion when she was eleven. After awhile, he hung up, and decided to give the broom another shot. He straddled it, squeezed it, and shot upward once again, this time, banging his head on the ceiling.

"Ow!" he shouted. Then he crashed to the ground, landing flat on his butt.

"You all right?" Phyllis asked, coming into the room.

"Oh yeah," Mike said, standing up. "Just banged my head on the ceilin', that's all."

"Mm hmm. How many times do I have to tell you not to practice flying in the house, Mike?"

"Sorry."

Mike picked up his broom and left. What he needed was a good flight instructor. He told that to Reggie and Jerry, and the three of them just started laughing.

"What's so funny?" Mike asked.

"Well, this whole thing," Jerry said. "You know how to play the guitar, right? You know how to ride a motorcycle, you compete in car races and motorcycle races, you can control most of your magic, and you've got a pilot's license, which I think makes this whole thing even more funny!"

"What are you gettin' at, Jer?"

"I mean, think about it, Mike. You've got a pilot's license and you can probably fly a plane, right?"

"Yeah."

"And you can't fly a simple broomstick?"

"What kind of a witch are you?" Reggie asked.

"Oh, stuff it," Mike said. Then he walked off, leaving Reggie and Jerry laughing their heads off about the entire situation.

At any rate, Mike went out back to the studio again to give it another shot. He dropped his broom, rubbed his hands together, picked it back up, straddled it, squeezed it, and waited. Once again, he shot upward. Reggie and Jerry walked out once he did.

"Is it supposed to just shoot up there like a bullet coming out of a gun?" Jerry asked.

"I dunno," Reggie replied. Suddenly, Mike came crashing down, like a plane that ran out of gas in midair. It made that same sound effect, too.

WHAM!

"Mike, are you okay?" Jerry asked.

"Yeah," Mike said. "I'm all right. Sure."

"Good, 'cause I wanted to ask you something."

"Sure, shoot."

"Is it supposed to shoot up there like a bullet coming out of a gun?"

"Now what do you think?"

"No."

"Bingo."

Mike stood up, picked up his broom and walked off. Jerry looked at Reggie and shrugged. Then the two of them followed Mike. They stopped at the street corner.

"What are you gonna do with that broom now, Mike?" Reggie asked.

"Try and beat the traffic," Mike said. "Watch this."

"Uhh, I don't think you should try it, Mike," Jerry said. "I mean, not here. Especially with your take offs and all. I mean, you might get hurt."

"Listen, Jerry," Mike said. "It's a perfectly open area! I can't possibly get hurt unless I crash land in the middle of the street."

"But Mike, listen a minute!"

Mike didn't listen. He straddled his broom, squeezed it and shot upward. But he didn't get too far. He collided with the street lamp. CLANG! And then he crashed landed, knocking himself out. Reggie grimaced and let out a loud groan.

"You're standing below a street lamp," Jerry said.

"Come on, Jer," Reggie said. "We'd better get him to Rampart or something."

Jerry nodded, and helped Reggie pull Mike into a standing position. Then they practically dragged him to Rampart General Hospital. Mike regained consciousness once they got inside. Dr. Brackett examined him and shook his head.

"Now how did you get that concussion?" he asked.

"I bumped my head on a street light," Mike said.

"Normally, I'd tell you to watch where you were going, but this bump's on the top of your head. Explain please."

"I gotta work on my take offs."

"And your landings," Jerry commented.

"Jerry, shut your trap," Mike said, agitated.

Jerry shrugged. Dr. Brackett rolled his eyes. He learned to expect the unexpected when it came to Mike. At any rate, Mike left Rampart in order to get some practice in, which was mainly in the back of the Screen Gems studio. The others sometimes watched him practice.

"If it isn't supposed to shoot up like that, what is it supposed to do?" Jerry asked.

"Rise up gradually, and then go forward," Mike said. "I just haven't gotten the hang of it yet."

"Maybe if you got up on the roof and jumped from it," Quacky suggested. "That might be your problem."

"Hmmmm. Could be."

Mike went inside the studio, and ran up the steps. He was now on the roof of the studio. He straddled his broom and squeezed it. Then he jumped off the roof. He staid in mid air for about two seconds. Then he came crashing down. He landed on top of Bob.

"Augh!" Bob shouted.

"Sorry, Bob," Mike said, climbing off the producer. "But thanks for breakin' my fall."

"Yeah," Bob said, sourly. "Do that again, and I'll break more than your fall, fella."

Mike shrugged and then glared at Quacky. Quacky laughed sheepishly, and then went back inside the studio. The others followed, not wanting to get in the way of Mike's temper. Mike shook his head, took his broom, and continued to try flying it. Jerry was watching from the window as he did.

"Maybe he oughta watch movies with witches in them," he said. "Maybe he'll be able to pick up what he's doing wrong."

"Good idea," Reggie said. "But I have a feeling he won't want to hear it right now."

Jerry shrugged and went back to reading the Writer's latest script. Mike continued flying that broom stick for awhile. Finally he crashed directly through the window and hit the floor face first.

"That had to hurt," Drake said.

"You ain't kiddin', buster," Mike said, standing up. "I may have knocked my jaw out of alignment."

"Maybe you should quit for the day, Michael," Peter said.

Mike nodded. He agreed to stop for the day, but he planned on picking up where he left off the next day. Morning rolled around. Mike overslept, and was about to be late for work. And as if things couldn't get worse, his car wouldn't start. He climbed out, and kicked the tire.

"Now how am I gonna get to work?!" he shouted. Then he caught sight of the broom in the garage. "Well, it's worth a shot."

Mike picked up the broom, straddled it, and squeezed. It shot up in the air like a bullet coming out of a gun (as usual), and then took off faster than a bullet! He had to hold onto the broom for dear life! It was like that broom had turbo speed or something like that. He was going so fast, he caused a giant wind wherever he passed. He blew some man's toupee right off his head. Newspapers went flying all over the place. And that wasn't the half of it. Mike was flying directly above traffic, and people started staring at him, and then caused accidents. But that wasn't all. Mike crashed through store windows (coming out without a scratch amazingly), destroyed displays, and he was still going! It didn't stop until he came to Station 51, and crashed right through the roof. He landed on the kitchen table, which crashed to the floor, along with the firemen's coffee. The entire station stared at him.

"Mike, what are you doing here?" T.J. asked. Mike stood up and brushed himself off.

"Just thought I'd drop in," he said. "Heh, heh, heh."

"Still haven't gotten the hang of that broom yet, huh?"

"What was your first clue? Gotta split, Teej."

Mike jumped on his broom and took off again, through the roof. Hank wasn't too pleased with that.

"Why can't he use the door like normal people?" he asked.

T.J. shrugged. Anyway, Mike continued along a path of destruction, but it was all unintentional. He was flying too low, and too fast. Things got in his way, since he couldn't stop that broom, so whatever was in his path got demolished. Finally, he reached the studio, and plowed through the front gate. The guard was so surprised, he didn't even bother to try and stop whatever it was that just crashed through! At any rate, Mike made it to the usual sound stage, and crashed right through the door. Everybody had to move out of the way pretty fast to avoid getting hit.

"Heads up!" Reggie shouted, as Mike went by.

Jerry opened a door quickly before Mike could smash through it. Unfortunately, that didn't stop Mike from crashing, anyway. He ended up in the room where the costumes for the TV shows and movies were kept, hit a couple of racks, and finally crashed into the wall. And everybody saw the crash as well.

"Ooooohhhhhh," they all grimaced.

"That 'ad to 'urt!" Davy shouted. "'Ey Mike, ah you okay?"

"Anybody get the license number of that milk truck?" Mike asked, somewhat in a daze. He shook his head out, and untangled himself from the clothes he had picked up from smashing into the racks.

"Seriously, are you okay?" Peter asked.

"Yeah," Mike said. "I'm all right."

"Do us all a favor, Mike," Jerry said. "Don't ride that thing in to work until you've learned how to ride it."

"Sorry," Mike said. Then he changed the subject. "So what'd I miss?"

"Not much," Drake said. "The elementary school's having a carnival this weekend as a fund raiser and they're looking for parent volunteers. All of us signed up for it, and we talked the girls into doing it too."

"Groovy," Mike said. "Sign me up."

"You sure?" Drake asked.

"Yeah," Mike said. "I'll take whatever positions left. Except the dunkin' booth. No way."

"We've got it covered anyway. It's on Saturday."

"Great. I'll be there."

When that was settled, Mike went out back to practice flying his broom. He was still making the same mistakes when he took off. Plus he had no control over the broom, anyway, so that only caused him to crash land. It drove him crazy. Saturday rolled around. Phyllis was getting ready for the school carnival. She and Christine Stanley were doing the cooking. Mike was asked to help with this fishing game the kids wanted to do. Well, he was the relief pitcher, at least.

"I'm goin' to the studio to practice," he said.

"What about the carnival?" Phyllis asked.

"Look, I told Drake that I'd be there, and he said I didn't necessarily have to show up until about twelve thirty. That gives me two and a half hours to get practicin'."

"Okay. Good luck."

"Thanks."

Mike left for the studio, and Phyllis left for the elementary school. It was only ten o' clock, and already the place was packed with people. Micky was over at the dunking booth with Ronnie and Julie. The kids were running that one, and Micky had been talked into being the target.

"Step right up, ladies and gentlemen," Ronnie said, imitating a carnival barker. "Dunk the Monkee! Three balls for a dollar!"

"Oh, who could resist?" Lynn (the first customer of the day) asked, shelling a buck out of her purse. She handed it to Julie. Ronnie gave her three balls. Lynn threw one, and missed.

"Eh, Lynn, you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn!" Micky shouted.

"Oh yeah?" Lynn asked, and she threw a second ball. Again it missed.

"You pitch like my grandma, Lynn!"

"This one won't miss."

Lynn threw the third ball, and hit the target in the dead center. Micky got a sick look on his face, and went down into the water. Everybody laughed.

"Thanks, Julie," Lynn said. "That was worth the dollar I paid."

Micky climbed out of the water, sat back on the platform, and heaved a big sigh.  Somehow he knew she would eventually hit the target.  At any rate, Peter, Drake and Gosalyn were running the fishing game. The basic idea of that was to stand on a step of some sort, behind a curtain, and use a fishing rod to hook a fish. That fish had a number on it, and there were prize buckets with numbers on them. If the person fished out a number 4, Peter would go over to bucket number 4 and give the person a small (cheap), plastic prize from the bucket.

"Why is it school carnival prizes are nothing but junk?" Drake asked.

"Beats me," Gosalyn said. "I guess because it's not in the budget, Dad."

Drake shrugged, and acted as the barker for that attraction. Reggie and Sarah were in charge of face painting. Their stand had a long line ahead of them, only because they did good work.

"Face painting for fifty cents," Reggie said. "They don't charge much at these school carnivals."

"That's because they don't have tickets for every little thing," Linda said, coming over. "When I was in elementary school, it was ten bucks for tickets and everything would cost a certain amount of tickets."

"Yeah, but they do have a ticket booth," Sarah said. "But that's only for the rides."

Reggie nodded. The school shelled out enough bucks for a couple of tame carnival rides, such as a moon walk, a ball pit, a carousel, a small train ride, for the really little kids, and a haunted house that the fourth and fifth grade classes had made. Everything else cost in between fifty cents and a dollar. The carnival was pretty much a success. Davy thought he had the best job of all. The kids had asked him to sit in the kissing booth.

"Davy, you never cease to amaze me," Jerry said, who was taking a break from his position. He was drumming up publicity for one of the games (hey, his big mouth has to be good for something).

"I know," Davy said. "But I think I need a break. Me lips ah numb."

Jerry laughed, and he and Davy took off. Davy put up a sign that said "Back in 5 Minutes" and a lot of the girls in line groaned. Anyway, the two of them walked around, talking about the school carnival, commenting on the attractions and stuff, not to mention the crowd.

Mike, in the meantime, was so involved in his practice, he forgot about the time. He was still crashing into things, as well. He hadn't gotten anywhere in practice.

"This is drivin' me nuts!" he shouted. Suddenly, the clock in city hall chimed. Mike looked at his watch, and realized it was twelve noon.

"Oh man!" he shouted. "I almost forgot about the carnival!"

Mike began to run off, but he knew it would take him at least an hour to get to the school from the studio on foot, especially since the city streets are usually jammed with pedestrians and the like on Saturdays.

"I'm gonna be late!" he shouted. "Unless . . . ."

Mike looked at the broom in his hand. Then he straddled it, and squeezed it. He shot into the air again, and was off. But with no improvement. He was still flying too low, and going much too fast. People had to dodge him carefully, or else get clobbered. Mike was grateful he wasn't killing anybody, but he caused a lot of chaos. At any rate, he approached the school in under fifteen minutes. At the time, Micky wanted to take a break. Nearly everybody had hit the target, and he looked like a drowned rat. Linda told him to take a break.

"Bet he's sorry you talked him into this, Jules," Reggie said, while Micky climbed out of the tank. Julie giggled, since she was the one who talked Micky into being the target.

"Why do I do these things?" Micky asked.

"Because you love us," Julie said, taking Micky's hand, and she hugged his arm. Micky smiled.

"I knew I had a good reason," he said. He couldn't resist the 10-year old's charms (nor could anyone), which is what got him hooked in the first place.

Anyway, Ronnie was counting the money they had made when he stopped suddenly.

"Hey, you guys hear something?" he asked.

"Like what?" Micky asked, looking for a towel to dry off.

"It sounds like a plane dive bombing," Linda said. "But there aren't any planes around."

"That can only mean one thing," Micky said.

"What?" Julie asked.

She didn't get an answer to that. In a split second, Mike came flying onto the scene, and he smashed straight into the dunk tank, destroying it. And heaven knows, that didn't stop him. He just kept going. Anyway, the water spilled out of the dunk tank, soaking everybody in that area. Micky groaned, since he was already soaked. He just got even more soaked!

Mike continued flying around, trying to control the broom. The next spot he hit was a line of typical games, like the fishing game, your average duck pond game, so on, and so on. He hit the fishing game's curtain, and that caused a domino effect. One fell, the rest followed. The rubber ducks at the duck pond game had been squashed. Everybody climbed out from under the mess, and began to talk at once. But Mike didn't stop there. He flew to the face painting booth next. Reggie and Sarah saw him coming and moved away as fast as they could, as well as the patrons in line. Mike hit the table, and paint flew everywhere.

"Sunday flyer!" a man in line shouted.

Mike didn't acknowledge him. He just realized he was heading for the rides next. He snapped his fingers to clear a path, but that didn't work out so well. He smashed into the entrance of the haunted house, and the rest of the walls fell. The patrons had to move fast! Due to the gust of wind he had created, he took a piece of the train track off the ground, which caused the train to stop suddenly. The train track hit the moon walk attraction, and created a small hole in it. The air was being let out of it, quickly. The kids inside ran away from it as fast as they could. There was a lot of screaming. Then Mike headed for the ball pit. The kids inside saw him coming, and ran out as fast as they could. Mike plowed into the bit, and brightly colored balls spilled all over the place.

It didn't stop there. Next up was the food stand. Phyllis and Christine were barbequing chicken. They saw Mike coming, and vacated the vicinity. Mike knocked over the grill, and chicken fell to the ground. He also knocked over tables that had pizza on it, and soda cans and bottles. The picnic area was a mess!

"Mike!" Phyllis yelled.

"Sorry, Phyllis!" Mike shouted. "I can't stop this thing!"

"You'd better!" Christine yelled. "Or else someone's going to get hurt!"

Mike shrugged, and did his best to stop the broom. It didn't work out so well. He headed straight for the kissing booth just then.

"Davy, heads up!" Mike yelled.

"Ahhhh!" Davy screamed, and he practically dove out of the booth. The girls in line screamed, and ran off.

Mike made a face. He couldn't stop the broom, no matter how hard he tried. The worst was yet to come. Jerry was in direct path with the broom, and he wasn't even aware of it! However, Mike and Linda were.

"Jerry, watch out!" Linda shouted. "Move!"

Jerry looked at her for a minute, then turned around. He saw Mike's broom heading right for him. Mike managed to bring it up a little, but it wasn't good enough, and Jerry didn't move away in time. The end of the broom hit Jerry in the head, right above his eye. WHACK! The blow managed to knock Jerry off his feet as well. Mike stopped when he went through the glass in the door of the school. He wasn't hurt, just a little dazed. He stood up, and went back outside.

"Well, I made it on time," he said. "To say the least."

Everybody else just glared at Mike. Mike looked around, and saw that he had caused more damage that he thought. Micky came up to him, with Julie following.

"Mike, I don't know whether to throttle you or thank you!" he shouted. Julie looked ready to cry.

"For what?" Mike asked.

"For getting me out of the dunk tank," Micky said. "As for throttling you . . . . ."

"You destroyed the carnival!" Drake shouted.

"Look at this mess!" Reggie shouted. "There's water, paint, balls, food, and anything else all over the place!"

"All the booths are ruined," Phyllis said. "The rides and attractions are destroyed, and lunch is all over the ground!"

"Not to mention you caused an injury, Mike!" Christine yelled.

"Oh, man! Jerry! I nearly forgot!" Mike shouted, and he ran over to Jerry. Linda and Davy were helping him to his feet. He had a dazed look on his face, and his hand on his head.

"Jerry, are you okay?" he asked. "Man, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hit you with the broom, I . . . ."

"Chill a sec, Mike," Linda said. Jerry groaned. He could barely see straight.

"Move your 'and a minute, mate," Davy said. "I want to see 'ow bad 'e 'it you."

Jerry moved his hand. There was a large bruise right above his right eye, as well as a little blood.

"Man, you 'it 'im 'ardah than I thought, Mike!" Davy shouted. "That looks awful!"

"Maybe we oughta take him to the nurse," Linda said.

"You're right, Linda," Davy said. "The soonah the bettah."

Linda and Davy took Jerry's arms and propped them over their shoulders, in order to help him to the nurse's office. Mike stepped forward.

"I'll help," he said.

"No thanks, Mike," Linda said, bitterly. "You've done enough!"

"But . . . ." Mike started.

"Maybe you should just leave, Mike," Valerie said. "And please, not on that broom."

"Okay," Mike said. "Sure. I guess. But maybe I should help clean up or somethin'."

"NO!" everybody else shouted. That made Mike jump a little.

"Like Linda said, Mike," Sarah replied. "You've done enough."

Mike nodded, and prepared to leave. Everybody else began to clean up the mess, muttering to themselves.

"I can't believe he flew that broom here," Reggie said. "Look at what he caused this time!"

"I know," Micky said. "He really shouldn't be flying that broom anyway."

"Yeah, he doesn't know how to handle it," Quacky said.

"Some witch he is," Sarah said. "Can't even fly a broom."

"And goodness knows he has a hard enough time trying to control his magic," Phyllis said.

Mike heard every word of it. He walked away from the school, broom in hand. Once he was away from his friends, he looked down at his broom. He gripped it as hard as he could, and then took it in both hands. He smashed it against his knee, breaking it into two pieces.

"Never again," he said, throwing the two pieces on the ground.

Mike spent the rest of the day at his place, not doing much of anything. The next day, he was found on the couch, reading one of his magic books.

"Is that a how to book on flying brooms?" Phyllis asked.

"No," Mike said, calmly. "I've given up on that."

"Really? How come?"

"I just wasn't any good at it."

Phyllis nodded. The phone rang just then. Mike snapped his fingers, and brought it over to him. He picked up the receiver.

"I got it," he said. "Hello?"

"Hey, Mike," Linda said. "It's me. Listen, I wanted to apologize for yesterday. I was kind of rude to you, you know?"

"It's okay, Linda. It was mostly my fault, anyway. So what happened after I left?"

"Well, we realized we should've let you help clean up. Your magic would've come in handy. It took us nearly three hours to set everything back up."

"What can I say? You didn't want me to help, after all."

"I know, Mike, I know."

"So how's Jerry?"

"He's all right. The school nurse took one look at his head and nearly fainted when we told her what happened. Then we found Lynn and asked her to take a look. You gave him a slight concussion, by the way."

"Sorry about that."

"It's okay. He's not mad at you. After all, it was an accident."

"Yeah. Well, you guys will be happy to know I've given up on tryin' to fly that broomstick. I was never good at it, and I doubt I'll ever be good at it."

"You're kidding! I thought you said all witches have to learn how to fly a broom!"

"I did. But I'm not so sure about half witches."

"What about your cousin? Isn't she half witch?"

"Yeah, she is. But she rides a vacuum cleaner."

"Maybe you should try flying that."

"Good bye, Linda."

Mike hung up the phone, snapped his fingers, and moved the phone back to it's regular perch. Then he returned to his book. No sooner than he got through the first sentence, the phone rang again. Mike snapped his fingers and brought it over to him.

"Your dime, start talkin'," he said.

"What happened to hello?" Sabrina asked.

"Hey, Sab. What's happenin'?"

"Aunt Kate called and told me what happened yesterday at the school carnival."

"Who told Aunt Kate?"

"She said Phyllis."

"I'll kill her. But you might as well know this, too. I gave up."

"Flying?"

"Yeah. I mean, I have a pilot's license after all. Who needs to fly a broom when you can fly a plane?"

"Get a vacuum, Mike. Those things are less trouble."

"And more expensive."

"So? You're a famous rock star. You can afford it."

"Yeah, I know I could, but I don't want to go and buy an enchanted vacuum. I have more problems with the Other Realm than you do."

"It's not my fault that your best friend has a lot of energy and all the whackos from the Looney Bin are after him for it. But seriously, why are you giving up?"

"I just wasn't very good at it."

Mike and Sabrina talked a little while longer about the latest gossip that was going around on each coast. There was a lot of uses of "really" and "no way" in the conversation. Finally, Mike had to hang up.

"Gotta go," he said. "I'm readin' up on my magic. I'm tryin' to find a cure for hypoglycemia so my battery doesn't die out every time I'm in the middle of a fight or somethin' like that."

"Good luck," Sabrina said. "Maybe you can find a cure for cancer while you're at it."

"Very funny."

Mike hung up, and put the phone back. Then he continued his book. Monday rolled around. Mike went to the studio, and began reading the Writer's latest script. Jerry walked over to him.

"Hey, what's up?" he asked.

"The ceilin'," Mike replied. Jerry laughed. "How's your head, Geat?"

"I nearly used a whole bottle of Aspirin this weekend just to get rid of a headache. I must've been driving Linda crazy. I mean, they bandaged my head, and they put it down close to my eye, so it's hard to see out of my right eye."

"Yeah, you've only got the use of your left, and that can't be easy. Sorry."

"Hey, it was an accident. So what did you do while the guys cleaned up the mess you made at the school?"

"Oh, boned up on my magic, talked to my cousin Sabrina, same old same old. Oh yeah, I gave up flyin' too."

"That all, huh?"

Mike nodded and went back to his script. Jerry stood up and started to leave, but then what Mike said had sunk in.

"Gave up flying?" he asked. "Whattaya gave up flying?"

"You've been hangin' around me too long, Geat," Mike said. "You're startin' to use my 'whattaya.' And yes, I gave up flyin'. I wasn't any good at it."

"It takes practice, Mike. Everything does."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. When I first got started in the DJ business, I had no clue how all that stuff worked!"

"Yeah, but I never was good at flyin'."

"Well, you don't practice enough like you did when you were learning the guitar."

"Hey, I never got better with flyin', Jer. I caused mass destruction wherever I went, I crashed all the time, and I knew sooner or later somebody would get hurt. So I gave it up."

Jerry gave up. It was obvious nothing was going to change Mike's mind. At any rate, Mike continued reading the movie script. Pretty soon, everybody knew he gave up flying. Nobody could believe it, though.

"Mike's not usually a quitter," Peter said.

"Yeah, I know," Jerry said. "But in a way, I'm kind of glad he did quit. I don't think my head would've been able to take it."

"Very funny," Reggie said, sarcastically. "But I have to admit, I'm kind of glad he stopped, too. Him on a broom . . . . . it was just too dangerous!"

Everybody seemed to agree on that. The harder Mike practiced, the worse his flying was. Nobody was able to figure out why, though. At any rate, Mike spent most of his time reading his magic books and the Writer's movie scripts. With any luck, he'd never even set foot on a broom (okay, that doesn't make sense) again, or so most of the others hoped. Kate wasn't too thrilled when she found out Mike quit.

"You hardly ever quit!" she shouted at him.

"I did this time," Mike said. "I was no good at it. In fact, I'm no good at my magic, either. I mean, Sabrina's much better at flyin' and her battery doesn't die out."

"Yeah, but she can't control her magic as well as you can. You're better at magic."

"Maybe, but I'm still a rotten witch!"

"Why do you say that?"

"'Cause I can't fly a broom!"

Mike left his aunt's house just then. Kate sighed. They had gotten used to Mike getting frustrated when he was flying his broom, but he was getting very moody since he quit. And that alone drove everyone insane. A couple of days later, Mike was still off the broom. As he was reading a script, someone snuck up behind him and covered his eyes.

"Guess who!" she shouted.

"Hi, Sabrina," Mike said, pulling his cousin's hands away from his eyes.

"Hi Sabrina? I finally come to California to visit, and all you can give me is a half-hearted 'hi Sabrina'? What kind of a greeting is that?"

"One I give when I'm in a rotten mood."

"Uh oh. What happened?"

Mike sighed. Sabrina sat down in a director's chair and listened to her cousin pour his heart out to her.

"I just can't do it," he said. "I never could. You should see what I did to Jerry!"

"What did you do?" Sabrina asked.

"I gave him a concussion. I was lucky I didn't hit him lower. I would've poked his eye out. I may be good at doin' magic, but as a flyer, I'm not witch enough. Let's face it. I'm not cut out for these powers. I'm just a witch washout."

Jerry happened to hear him, and he walked over. Then he smacked Mike upside the head.

"What's the matter with you?!" he shouted. "You are not a witch washout! Honestly, Mike! I never pegged you as a quitter, but lately that's all you've been doing!"

"Oh yeah?" Sabrina asked. "What's this about being a quitter, Mike?"

"Well . . . ." Mike said, voice trailing off.

"Oh, he's been having a pretty tough time with some recent situations," Jerry said.

"You can't be a quitter!" Sabrina shouted, smacking Mike in the arm. "You Nesmiths are born leaders! You're not quitters!"

"Then I how come I feel like such a loser?" Mike asked.

"I give up," Jerry said. He threw his arms up in frustration and walked off. "That's it! I've had it! I try to help, and what do I get?"

Mike just sighed and went back to the script. Sabrina shrugged, and walked off herself. That afternoon, Mike went over at his aunt's house. Dr. Early (or as Mike now referred to him, Joe) was there, on his lunch break.

"Hi, Joe," he said, sitting down at the kitchen table. "Over here for lunch a lot, aren't we?"

"You're aunt's a good cook," Joe replied, shrugging.

"Yeah, sure."

Mike smiled sneakily. He knew Joe and Kate had been dating a lot lately. At any rate, Kate walked into the kitchen.

"Hi, Michael," she said. "I didn't hear you come in."

"I came in through the back door," Mike replied. "Be prepared for visitors, Aunt Kate. Sabrina's in town."

"Your teenage cousin?" Joe asked. "The one who's half witch, like you are?" Mike nodded.

"She showed up at the studio today," he said. "She, too, got on my case for quittin'."

"What'd you give up on this time?"

"Tryin' to fly that stupid broom. I never was good at it, and I'll probably never be good at it."

"It takes practice, Michael," Kate said. "You know that. In fact, I was downright terrible at flyin' a broom at first. I made the same mistakes you did."

"So what did you do?" Mike asked.

"Well, I didn't give up, that's for sure."

"You guys are soundin' like an after school special."

Mike stood up, and left, determined not to let anybody talk him back into flying. He went back to his place and began reading through more of his magic books. Then he realized something. Flying a broomstick (or in some other cases, vacuums) was part of a witch's (or half witch's) life.

"If I give up flyin' a broom, why should I even bother learnin' all this magic mumbo jumbo?" he asked.

"You say something, Mike?" Phyllis asked.

"Yeah. I'm wonderin' if the Witch's Council will take away my powers."

"What did you do this time?"

"Nothin'. I figured if I'm not gonna fly a broom, why should I even have my powers?"

"You mean you're going to voluntarily go to the Other Realm, go before the Witch's Council, and actually ask them to take away your powers?!"

"Sure. I'll see you later."

Mike stood up and left the house. Phyllis dashed to the phone and dialed frantically.

"Jerry, it's me," she said. "Meet me at the studio in thirty minutes. I know there's a porthole to the Other Realm there. We've got to stop Mike before he makes the biggest mistake of his life!"

Jerry didn't ask any questions. He just hung up the phone, left the house, and high tailed it to the studio. He and Phyllis managed to beat Mike to the porthole. They blocked the entrance.

"What are you guys doing?" Sabrina asked as she came over to them.

"Blocking the entrance to the Other Realm," Jerry explained.

"Why are you doing that?"

"I dunno. Phyllis, why are we blocking the entrance to the Other Realm?"

"To keep Mike out," Phyllis said. "He wants the Witch's Council to take away his powers, because he gave up trying to control that broom of his."

Jerry and Sabrina looked at Phyllis in disbelief.

"You're kidding!" Jerry shouted.

"I don't believe it," Sabrina asked.

"Ask him yourselves," Phyllis said. "Here he comes now."

Mike walked over to Phyllis, Sabrina, and Jerry, and just stood there, confused look on his face.

"What are you guys doin'?" he asked.

"Stopping you," Phyllis said. "Mike, you can't just ask the Witch's Council to get rid of your powers!"

"Why not?" Mike asked. "Flyin' is part of a witch's or half witch's life. If I'm not gonna learn, why bother havin' all this magic?"

"Look, Mike," Sabrina said. "Not all witches and half witches excel at the same abilities. I mean, look at me and you. I'm better at flying, and you're better at magic. You know me, Mike. I try and help, and I only cause trouble."

"And you're aunt, Mike," Jerry said. "She can pop in and out by snapping her fingers, and you haven't quite gotten the hang of it."

"And you're the only one in your family who can do a voice over," Phyllis said.

"Listen, flying just takes a little practice," Jerry said. "Everything does! Magic, flying, singing, playing an instrument, dancing . . . . ."

"You should talk, Jer," Mike said, folding his arms across his chest. "You're a natural at dancin'! You were probably dancin' even before you could walk!"

The whole conversation wasn't going well. Mike tried to push past his wife, his cousin, and his best friend, but they wouldn't move. Finally, he threw his arms up in frustration and let out a scream.

"Fine!" he shouted. "Fine! I give up! You guys win! I'm outta here."

"Where are you going?" Sabrina asked.

"None of your business!" Mike shouted. "I need to think."

With that, Mike stormed off. Phyllis and Sabrina looked at each other. The two of them were about to go after him when Jerry stopped them.

"Give him a good head start," he said. "I know where he's going, anyway."

"Yeah, me too," Phyllis said.

"Where is he going?" Sabrina asked.

"Same place he goes whenever he gets depressed," Jerry said. Phyllis nodded.

Sabrina was still a little confused. Anyway, the three of them went over to a local diner to kill some time. At sundown, they headed over to the river, carrying a broom. Mike was leaning on the bridge, throwing rocks in the drink, like he always did when he was in a bad mood.

"Never fails," Phyllis said. "Every time he gets depressed, he comes here."

Mike happened to hear them, so he looked up. Then he turned away from them. Jerry walked up to him.

"Hey," he said. "Listen, what's really the matter?"

"I just can't do it," Mike said. "It's not like gettin' a pilot's license. I mean, I'm able to fly a plane, but I can't fly a broom."

"Look, maybe flying a broom's just not your schticklatch."

"There's somethin' that bugs me, Jer."

"What?"

"What in the world does schticklatch mean?!"

"Derivative of shtick. You know my weird vocab."

"Yeah, I do. Schticklatch, discophonic, and phenomenal are your three favorite words."

Jerry sighed, turned to the girls and shrugged, as if to say "I need a little help over here, he's not cooperating."

"He's getting nowhere," Phyllis said.

"Never send a man to do a girl's job," Sabrina said, and she and Phyllis walked over to the bridge. Mike just glanced at them, and kicked a rock into the river.

"I suppose you're here to give me a lecture?" he asked.

"You know I should," Phyllis said. "But I won't. I just want to ask you something."

"What?"

"You can play a guitar, right?"

"Yeah, you know I can."

"Could you the first time you picked one up?"

"No. You know I couldn't at first. I had to practice. And the more I practiced the better I got."

"See? You didn't quit. You have to continue to practice."

"You'll get better, you'll see," Sabrina said.

"But flyin' ain't like playin' guitar," Mike said. "I mean, I really wanted to play the guitar."

"Don't you want to fly that thing?" Jerry asked.

"Of course I do," Mike replied. "I really do. But . . . . I don't know, it seems the harder I try, the worse I do."

"Say that again?" Jerry asked.

"The harder I try the worse I do."

Jerry raised his hand to his chin. He began to think about that for a moment. Then he turned to the girls and indicated them to move in closer to him for a huddle.

"I think I've discovered Mike's problem," he said.

"We know the problem, Jer," Sabrina said. "He stinks at it."

"No, that isn't it," Jerry said. "I always thought his problem was he had no control over it. I think he's downright nervous about flying, since the first time he got on a broom, he crashed it. I think he's so nervous about crashing it again, whenever he gets on a broom to try, he automatically crashes, because he tenses up so much."

"So you're saying he needs to relax?" Phyllis asked.

"Yeah," Jerry said. "Give me the broom."

Sabrina handed Jerry the broom. Then the three of them turned to Mike.

"I've discovered your problem, my pal," he said.

"I know the problem, Jerry," Mike said. "I don't know how to do it. That's my problem."

"That isn't your problem. Your problem is you're trying too hard. Every time I saw you get on a broom, you'd tense up, and get this look on your face . . . . . I don't know, like you were determined to do it if it was the last thing you did. Maybe if you just relaxed a little, you'd be able to do it. Here."

Jerry handed Mike the broom. Mike just stared at his friend as if he were crazy, but he got on, anyway.

"Just relax, Mike," Phyllis said. "Close your eyes and take a deep breath."

Mike closed his eyes and breathed deep. He rolled his shoulders a little, to loosen up his neck a little.

"Okay," Jerry said. "Now do everything you usually do when flying, but instead of squeezing the broom as hard as you can, increase your grip gradually."

"I'll try," Mike said. "But if it doesn't work this time, I quit."

"Fair enough," Phyllis said.

Mike took a deep breath and increased his grip on the broom handle. Very slowly, he felt himself begin to go up, instead of shooting up like he usually did. He opened his eyes, and found himself in midair, floating.

"Hey," he said. "Hey, I did it! I did it!"

"You haven't done it yet, Mike," Sabrina said.

"You've still got to fly that thing," Phyllis said.

"Okay," Mike said. "Here it goes."

Mike increased his grip slowly, and he rose even higher. Then he began to move forward, at a normal speed. He was actually flying. He looked down at Jerry, Phyllis, and Sabrina and smiled. The three of them were jumping up and down, cheering. Mike flew forward, and Jerry, Phyllis, and Sabrina ran after him.

"I can't wait for Aunt Kate to see this!" Mike shouted, and he flew into town.

The first stop Mike made was to the Springfield Apartments, where Reggie lived. He flew up to his window, and knocked. Reggie walked over to the window and opened it.

"Hi, Reg," Mike said.

"What are you doing up here?" Reggie asked.

"Oh, just hangin' around. Just thought I'd drop in to say hi. Gotta jet. See you later."

Mike flew off. Reggie just nodded. He was about to close the window, when he realized something. He was on the eighth story of the building, and nowhere near the fire escape. He did the double take and leaned out the window. Sure enough, he saw Mike flying on the broom, with a lot more control than he had before. His eyes bulged, and his mouth dropped open. Then he ran to the phone and called Sarah.

"Sarah, get this!" he shouted. "Mike was just here and he was flying on a broom!"

Mike's next stop was Rampart General Hospital. He flew by the window, and knocked. Dr. Brackett and Joe walked over and looked at him.

"Mike?!" Dr. Brackett shouted. Mike just nodded, and flew off.

"This I gotta check out for myself!" Joe shouted, and he proceeded to leave. Dr. Brackett followed him, as did Lynn, Dixie, and Carole. The five of them stepped out of the hospital and looked in the air. There was Mike, soaring through the sky. None of them could believe it.

"I don't believe it," Dr. Brackett said.

"He's actually flying," Carole said, in disbelief.

Mike looked down and smiled. He had a captive audience. He flew all around town, grabbing the attention of nearly everybody. His friends started following him once he passed them. Nobody could believe he was actually flying. Mike couldn't believe it, either. He immediately thought of a song he knew of, the theme from The Greatest American Hero. The words to the refrain popped in his head:

Believe or not I'm walking on air

I never thought I could feel so free

Flying away on a wing a prayer

Who could it be?

Believe it or not, it's just me

Mike circled around, and flew even higher. He looked down at his friends. They were waving to him, and cheering. He smiled, and then decided to do a final act: the landing. He loosened his grip on the broom as slowly as possible, and came down gently. Everybody crowded around him, talking at once.

"Man, that was unbelievable!" Micky shouted.

"I can't believe he was just flying like that," Valerie said.

"And not once did he crash!" Reggie shouted.

"All right, Mike!" Jerry shouted. "You did it!"

"I can't believe I did it," Mike said, smiling.

"Congratulations, Michael!" Kate shouted, hugging him. "I always knew you could do it."

"I was tryin' too hard," Mike said. "Once I relaxed, it was a snap."

Mike got on the broom again, and proceeded another take off. He flew through the night sky, enjoying every minute of the flight, soaring with the birds. He had finally done it. Mike closed his eyes for a moment, and smiled. He felt on top of the world.


The End