Chapter 6

It took Gargamel the whole night, reciting a ridiculous chant that the spirit of the Great Book of Spells had given him, and then assembling the parts that materialized according to the spirit's instructions. But by the middle of the next day, Gargamel's own invention for flying was finally ready. It looked very much like a cross between a bicycle and another flying invention that wouldn't be designed by humans for several centuries to come. Azrael sat in the basket that was attached to the handlebars of this invention as Gargamel was suited up with flight goggles and a scarf.
"Prepare yourself for flight, Azrael," Gargamel announced. "We're going to drop in on those high-flying Smurfs right in their own village and show them who the real master of the skies is."
Gargamel pedaled the flying invention into motion, and slowly it lifted itself off the roof of his own hovel and into the sky. Azrael found it hard to look down, even as the flight felt very wobbly and nearly threatened to dump him into the bushes below. But Gargamel wasn't very concerned over how well this thing flew. He was already impressed by the fact that it did, and soon he would make the Smurfs know that their ability of flight would pale in comparison to his own.

Meanwhile, the other Smurfs were busy in their daily activities, with Handy finishing the repairs on Smurfette's chimney and Vanity bringing some fresh flowers to replace the ones mashed over by the smurfplane in the community flowerbed. Tailor had brought over some new dresses for Smurfette, even though they were pretty much the same as the ones shredded by the smurfplane's propeller. Despite what had happened, Smurfette was grateful for her fellow Smurfs coming to their senses long enough to fix up the mess left behind by Handy's flying machine.
"I was just wondering when you might want to smurf me on another ride in that smurfplane, Handy," Smurfette asked. "Somehow it just seemed like fun smurfing through the skies, and besides, I might want to smurf how to fly like you can."
"Hopefully soon, Smurfette," Handy answered. "Right now, I'm just smurfing of a way to have the smurfplane run on fermented sarsaparilla extract so we wouldn't have to smurf about the wind-up motor smurfing out on us again."
"Oh, really?" Smurfette asked, not sure that she understood the difference between that and a wind-up motor since she wasn't mechanically inclined, but it did sound a bit like Handy was brushing her off. "I just hope it's worth my waiting for, anyway!"
"Trust me, Smurfette, with this new engine I'm smurfing, it will smurf even faster than before," Handy promised. "Even a crane couldn't fly fast enough to smurf up to us in...!"
"Hey, what the smurf is going on?" another Smurf asked. "Is there a solar eclipse smurfing place today? I thought we already smurfed one this year."
"Smurfs more like a giant shadow of a bird," a second Smurf commented. "But what kind of bird could smurf such squeaky flapping sounds?"
"How about a predator ready to pounce upon its prey, like I am going to do with all of you?" a familiar nasty voice boomed over all others, cackling hideously afterward.
They all looked up in the sky and saw what was causing the great big shadow. It was Gargamel riding a flying machine he created somehow, swooping down over the village.
Terrified of his presence, the Smurfs ran for cover, but Gargamel had dropped dozens of soft black ball-shaped bombs on them that turned into webs wherever they hit a Smurf, trapping them where they stood. Soon, almost every Smurf except for Handy was caught in a web bomb.
"Handy, you're the only one who can smurf us now!" Papa Smurf pleaded, unable to break free of the web bomb dropped on him. "Quick, use the smurfplane before he smurfs you!"
Handy nodded, realizing that he had no choice but to do so. He evaded the remaining web bombs being dropped on him as he quickly boarded the smurfplane and took off.

Gargamel seemed pleased that Handy had now joined him in the air. "So, my little blue pigeon, you've come just in time to meet your doom," he sneered. "Since you're nuts about flying, I might as well feed you some!" He laughed viciously as he activated something on his flying machine aimed right at Handy's smurfplane that rapid-fired acorns at bullet speed.
Handy flew evasively to avoid being pelted by Gargamel's acorns, but the wizard wouldn't let up. He laughed maniacally as he relentlessly pelted Handy's smurfplane hard with the acorn launchers built into his own flying machine. Gargamel knew it was only a matter of time before this blue sky pilot's vehicle would be blown out of the sky.
"Wait a minute," Handy chastised himself, "why the smurf am I smurfing away from Gargamel in this thing? If Empath was here, he wouldn't be smurfing away from him...and by smurf, I shouldn't be smurfing away, either!"
He then turned the smurfplane around, damaged as it was from Gargamel rapid-firing acorns at it, and headed straight for the wizard's flying machine. Gargamel had no idea why this Smurf would make such a foolish assault on him until he heard the sound of cloth ripping.
"Egads!" he exclaimed fearfully. "That wretched Smurf is taking my wings apart."
After making holes in the left wings of Gargamel's flying machine, Handy turned the smurfplane around and tore right through the wings on the right side. He watched as Gargamel frantically pedaled and flew away from the Smurf Village as best as he could, his flying machine beginning to lose altitude.
Handy soon found out that his direct assault on Gargamel's flying machine had disabled his smurfplane's ability to fly. "I can't resmurf control of this thing," he said to himself, pulling uselessly on the control stick.
Fortunately for Handy, the escape hatch he built underneath his seat still worked. He fell through the hatch and then quickly opened the parachute he had carried with him, drifting down to safety while he watched the smurfplane crash into a nearby tree.

Gargamel cursed as he lost all control of his flying invention. It soon crash-landed in the moat of the castle where the annual convention of sorcerers took place, well beyond the range of the Smurf Village. Some of the wizards were looking out of a tower window when they saw Gargamel's flying machine crash-land.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the foolish wizard Gargamel who claims that these so-called Smurfs actually exist," one of the wizards commented sourly.
"They do exist," Gargamel insisted as he fished himself out of the wreckage, "and I will have proof of that. I just need a little more time."
"The convention is already over," another wizard pointed out, "so I'd say you have a whole year to find those Smurfs wherever they are."
"If at first you don't succeed," a third wizard humored, "fly, fly again, Gargamel!"
The three wizards laughed at that as they left the window, leaving Gargamel feeling so infuriated that his attempt to prove those doubting wizards the truth of his claims was again fruitless.
"I swear, Azrael," Gargamel hissed, "I will prove to the whole world that the Smurfs do exist, and I will have that proof if that's the last thing I ever do!"

The other Smurfs, who by then had managed to break out from their webs, gathered around the wreckage of Handy's smurfplane, some of them already searching through it to see if Handy came out alive. Papa Smurf feared the worst, and Smurfette was almost ready to break into tears, when another voice spoke behind them:
"I think I smurfed out just in time!"
They all turned and saw Handy alive and well, now carrying a used parachute with him. He looked devastated from what had happened.
"Handy, thank smurfness you survived!" Smurfette cried out as she hugged him.
"I'm glad I did, Smurfette," Handy replied, sounding very sad. "It's too bad I won't be able to smurf you those flying lessons you wanted on my smurfplane!"
Papa Smurf sighed in relief. "As long as you're still smurfing, Handy, it's not the end of the world of flight yet. You can always smurf yourself a new smurfplane!"
"Thanks, Papa Smurf," Handy said, knowing that Papa Smurf meant well. "For now, though, I would rather smurf Brainy's words to heart and smurf over the forest the old-fashioned way — with our feathered friends!"
"My smurfs exactly, Handy," Brainy responded, sounding as if he had known Handy was going to agree with him all along. "Besides, as Papa Smurf always said, what smurf are our friends for if we don't smurf them the way they were meant to smurf us, and furthermore…!"
Brainy found himself flying again to the other side of the village, landing on his head as usual.