Tuesday, January 5, 2016

silver wings

The Lady Lee was crippled and had fallen back from the formation.  I could hear his calm voice as it crackled over the radio.  Lloyd was the only man left on her.  The plane had heavy flack damage, including the cockpit. The seasoned pilot was unable to leave it. I got on the horn and we chattered, hoping to give him some comfort that he wasn't alone, but he didn't let on that he needed it. There was an unfamiliar weakness in his voice, yet his handle on the yoke stayed sure and steady. Even amid our brief encounter in the air, he seemed peaceful and resolute.  His demeanor calmed my spirit, rather than mine, his.

I caught a visual on the fire from both wings, starting to bellow out thick and black.  The closer I got, the more flack damage I could see.  Lady Lee was a hopeless, yet defiant girl.  I could now hear the engines sputter. I pulled closer beside my good friend, he turned and we made eye contact.  He offered me a smile through the broken glass and a firm thumbs up.

Lloyd then pulled his yoke back and directed his tattered vessel upward and away.  I kept watch on him, as his vessel ascended into a sea of white cloud and into the heavens.

Then he was gone.

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