Time collapsed in on me today so it’ll have to be a word soup story! Hope your week is going well so far. 🙂 I know work has really started to get busy on my end but I enjoy a busy week rather than a boring one. Enjoy!
TODAY’S WORDS: Bang, Border, Jaded, Fly, Bulb
My mother always told me that going to war was the biggest regret I’d ever have. She would mention the fact that I’d die a statistic, only to be spoken of in hushed voices by the people back home I gave it all up for. Even if I were to come home, I would never be the same person. There was no way I’d be able to give anything less than my entire being to succeed in the air force.
Yet the year was 1944 and I knew what I was doing would help change history. Sure, I may not be a war hero and get books written about me, but god damn it I had something to fight for.
My squad was to provide air support for a campaign in France. Something big is going down and we’re getting in there before the boys in the water land. If we were able to bomb the trains, their supply line will be cut for our invasion. The way that things were looking, this was going to be one of the biggest battles of the war. If we can land on French shores, we’ll be one step closer.
I knew the guys in my squad well. Richie was a young punk from New York. He always talked about how busy it was in the city. I felt that if ever stopped to rest he’d consider it a sin. Lou was a southern hick who didn’t know jack squat. He was always asking one of us to explain how the controls worked again. How he ever made it out of basic is beyond me, but his conviction makes up for it. Pete was from California, and he made sure to let everyone know it. He claims he joined the air force to get close to the sun again. As for myself, I am from the Midwest. The most intense thing I’ve ever done was skip out on corn shucking to make out with a girl freshman year. You can imagine that I was quite a bit shell shocked when I found out what the world was like.
We called ourselves the Cross Continentals, or the CC’s. Lou often chuckled at the fact that it sounded Hispanic when you said the abbreviation. I guess they’re easily entertained down South.
When it was dark, we took off. Of course, Pete and Richie were at each others throats again about who was able to get airborne first. It’s like they were excited to jump into the fray, only worrying about their appearances. Once we got going, though, things mellowed out and we began to talk about our girls back home.
Lou said he never got the phone number of a nice looking girl he had his eye on. The poor sap probably missed out on all the social cues anyway. Richie claimed he had at least 10 dames waiting for him back home. I suspect he’s hitting on 10 different women, all to no avail. Then Pete said he’s getting married as soon as he’s back. A nice blonde and him were high school sweethearts and he promised that when he got home they’d be married in celebration of Hitler’s demise. Optimistic, I say. As for myself, the girl in the corn was my long time girlfriend and she’ll be excited as ever for me to come back. Richie says she’ll be off with another man. Lou mentioned that all the real men are gone fighting, so I have nothing to worry about. Good soul, that Lou.
I was in the middle of laughing when I heard a huge bang. Before any of us had even realized, we had crossed the border into France and were now above enemy territory. It seems they were ready for us, and anti-air artillery began to shake our planes.
Lou freaked out and pulled heavily to the left. I called out to him to come back into formation but he was totally out of his zone. Richie, Pete, and I quickly maneuvered into some clouds and decided we’d head further south to avoid the concentration of artillery they had on the beach head. From what I could tell, they were ready.
As soon as we got back out to the ocean, we called out for Lou. He had gone missing since the initial fire and had not made his way back to us.
Suddenly, a very jaded Lou picked up his radio and said only that we should go on without him. His radio fell silent, so we had to assume the worst. Richie was pissed off that he wasn’t able to do anything for him. I told him that the best thing we can do to remember Lou is to complete the mission. After all, there was going to be many more soldiers coming into France and into a grinder if we don’t get those trains of the tracks.
We pulled back onto the land at a higher altitude. Things were finally going smooth until Pete came over the radio complaining that his ride was getting bumpy. We told him we’d go down a bit for him, but he began to panic. His planes engines began to stall and he plummeted towards the ground. The noise of the spiraling machinery was harmonizing in an unholy chord with the screams of my friend. It fell silent as he crashed into France.
This unfortunate loss meant that the enemy now knew where we were coming in. The artillery began once again. Richie was unable to console himself in time, and was blown to pieces just a few hundred feet to my right. Looks like I was the only one left to carry out this task.
Without blinking, I quickly scanned the horizon and found the train station. All my training helped me focus in on where exactly I had to fly. It wouldn’t be glorious, but god damn it the trains wouldn’t make it.
As I approached I could see the explosions from the artillery popping up the fireworks. A display for my heroism, no doubt. They would tell my story to all the young recruits who would panic in a situation where squad mates were dying. I’d likely get a medal and be able to go home. I’d go to Lou’s girl and tell her how he felt. Pete’s would have been wife will know he went down a hero. Richie’s girls will have to console each other over the man who saved their country. My girl would have someone to take care of her.
I was lost in thought, not focusing on my trajectory so carefully planned. That’s probably why my wing was clipped. I could no longer pull up, and realized I would miss the bombing range of the train. My choices suddenly came down to this: attempt to land this hell bird deep in enemy territory or complete my mission… the hard way.
I took out my lantern and turned on the cool light bulb. This was my final flight and I would go down completing my mission. Yet no one would know.
My mother always told me that going to war was the biggest regret I’d ever have. In my final moments, I smiled. She wouldn’t know how wrong she was.