The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #245: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Aurora’s First Experience Flying and Like a Hood Ornament 5 – Rocketeer Flying

Episode #245: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Aurora’s First Experience Flying and Like a Hood Ornament 5 – Rocketeer Flying

This week’s show is all about flying!

In the first part of the show, I’m reading from a section of The Thirteenth Hour about what Aurora thought about her first experience flying on Lightning, Logan’s magical hoverboard.

We left for the Castle in the Water the next day.  Logan showed me his air board called Lightning; it was somehow able to expand itself so I could fit on as well.  Let’s just say it’s better if you suspend belief a little.  I guess that’d be a fitting theme for the following section, indeed this whole story, but I’m getting ahead of myself. 

Getting on Lightning was one thing, but flying was something else entirely.  There was only one foot strap for me, so I had to hold onto Logan.  I think I would have anyway.  I had never been more than twenty feet off the ground in my life.  Logan said he was still getting the hang of it when Lightning beeped out something.  Words appeared on some kind of window near her front.  They said that I wouldn’t fall off because there was a protective shield around the board.  I wasn’t so sure, and even to this day, a ride on Lightning makes me want to vomit. 

I suppose flying was fun, in a white–knuckle–ride–by–the–seat–of–your–wet–pants sort of way, but I never really got the hang of it, even though Logan tried to show me how to pilot Lightning.  It should have been easy – you rocked your body back and forth to go up or down and swayed your hips to turn – but I guess it just wasn’t my thing, and I nearly had a heart attack when I accidentally flipped us upside down. 

The altitude was one thing, but the speed completely blew me away.   Okay, I know, not funny.  But really, if you can imagine being shrunk, tied to the head of an arrow, then fired in the air from one of those six foot war bows like the ones the King’s archers used, then you’ll have some idea what it felt like. 

Flying that fast always made me nauseous.  That first time, after an hour or two, I couldn’t take it anymore and told Logan to get Lightning to pull over to the coast (we were flying over water), where I threw up in some bushes.  I collapsed onto my back, staring up at the sky, which, for some reason, kept spinning round and round.  That’s how Logan found me.  It all seemed very unladylike, and I guess I was looking very sheepish when I climbed back on Lightning, because Logan, who must have figured out what I was doing, asked if I were okay.

I grunted something.  I guess I looked okay, so he grinned.

“I puked all over my uniform a few days ago, if that’s any consolation to you.”

It wasn’t, really, because we ended up having to stop two or three more times later on, but it made me laugh a little at the time. 

[Logan] Yeah, I always did wonder where it all came from.  It’s not like we had an overabundant food supply, that’s for sure.  But she seemed to have a never ending supply of that stuff.

You know, who’s telling this section, you or me?

[Logan] Couldn’t help it.   

Right.  So, blah, blah, blah, whatever, I threw up a lot.  Very funny.  Anyway, after that, Lightning slowed down to a kind of cruising speed, which was really nice because it gave us a chance to actually see the landscape we were passing. 

At the end of our first day out, we stopped on a deserted section of coastline to eat and sleep.  We had used our pockets and a sack we found to stash food liberated from the Cordel marketplace, but neither of us were very hungry.  You already know why I wasn’t, but I think it was pretty tough on Logan’s stomach, too.  It had been a long day of travel for both of us, and our heads were still spinning as we lay them on the damp sand.  I leaned over and told Logan that I was glad I could accompany him on his journey and apologized for slowing us down today.  But I think he was falling asleep already, because he just smiled a little, as if to say, “forget it,” and patted me on the shoulder.

Searching for Forever Picture Final more contrast

Another picture painted as the cover art for “Searching for Forever” (that would have fit in towards the end of the book with Logan and Aurora flying to the new home).  Watch it being created below:

There’s an instrumental part to accompany the reading – the backing track of “Searching for Forever” – the 80s inspired ending credits song I envisioned as playing as the story ended.  Both the instrumental and vocal versions can be found on the LP, Long Ago Not So Far Away, and below:

Speaking of music, I’ve been going through a number of acoustic guitar songs I used to play a lot when I was first learning how to play, since in this time of national quarantine, I try to do music time with my kids as a part of, you know, daddy daycare.  I’ve picked out a few that are more hopeful and positive than the stuff songs are often written about (heartbreak, unrequited love, longing, substance use, and other important adult matters).   Anyway, I’ve included one such song (“Flying Free” written by Don Besig) since it is about flying (whether figuratively or literally) free from the constraints that bind us to the earth (again, whether physical or mental).

That’s because today’s Rocketeer segment is also about flying!


Today marks the fourth Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few previous episodes about the Rocketeer:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, we’re discussing this little documentary hosted by Bill Campbell that came out about the same time as the movie (and sadly, not available on any of the official Rocketeer releases).  It is part history of flight documentary, part behind the scenes movie making, and part experiential journalism into different modes of flight (including actual rocketpacks).

Suffice to say, real life rocketpacks highlight the myriad limitations such a device would likely entail.  But … that’s why we have stories 🙂


A few frames of Cliff taking off for the first time from the original comic drawn by Dave Stevens (from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition).

We also talked, among other things, about those vague Rocketeer sequel rumors.  But, you know what?  Even if it never happens, we got a cartoon to introduce a whole new generation to the Rocketeer and an epic rocketpack battle in The Mandalorian:


This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer gear talk next week!  Stay safe!




There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up ( and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!