Summary: The GG boy’s thoughts as they prepare to jump out of a plane.
Category: Garrison’s Gorillas
Genre: WWII Drama
Word Count: 858
Why we do always have to jump? Goniff thought as he stood in the open hatch of the bomber waiting for the flashing light that would be his signal to tumble in a jumble of arms and legs out of the relative safety of the shuddering plane and plummet through the frigid stratosphere to land God only knew where in a war zone in an occupied country. He peered out into the darkness, the wind buffeting his tense body as the tap came, followed immediately after by a hard shove that sent him spiraling out of control towards the ground. “I’ll get you for that, Casino!” he shouted to the clouds as he scrunched his eyes tightly shut and counted down the seconds until he had to pull the cord on his parachute.
Casino sighed as he hung onto the sides of the open hatch, body leaning back into the interior of the plane. If God intended for man to fly, he would have given us wings. He didn’t like flying; he didn’t like sailing either, for that matter, whether it be above or below the water line. Planes crashed or blew up in midair and boats and submarines sank. Now cars and trucks, they were a mode of transport he could happily live with. Ah, the great escapes he had had with his country cousins running moonshine across the state borders. The only enjoyable bit of the whole process of flying was shoving the little limey out the door first and listening to the wind whipped curse directed back at him. The tap on the shoulder and unexpected push catapulted him through the open hatch before he had time to realize what was happening.
The tall Italian shook his head in despair. After all this time, you would think they would have come to terms with the idea that plane travel in these dark times meant you had to disembark by jumping. Of course, while it was not his chosen mode of disembarkation from a plane, he had to admit he did feel a certain degree of exhilaration in the process of controlling his descent to the ground below. Man against the forces of nature. Check and checkmate as he fought and beat that that would seek to dash him to pieces against the land below. It awakened his senses, ignited the adrenalin that he knew would course through his body until the latest mission met with a satisfactory conclusion. The overhead light flashed and Actor stepped out of the plane.
Chief stood relaxed in the open hatch, eyes closed and body swaying gently in time with the lumbering plane. He allowed his mind to empty of thoughts of the coming mission, of the unknown men he would undoubtedly have to kill to protect his team. Instead, he imagined the next few minutes as he soared like an eagle above the earth. The eagle was a sacred spirit bird, not only to his tribe but to many others as well. It was the sign of freedom, of being one with the spirit world, and to soar with the eagle was the greatest of gifts that the spirit bird could bestow upon man. The tap on his shoulder was gentle, almost reverent in its gentleness, and Chief let his body free fall out of the hatch. He angled his body into a dive, counting off the seconds until he could pull the cord and give his body over to the shifting draughts of the unseen winds, to float on the breath of his forefathers and the great spirits of the sky.
Garrison watched the white dots grow smaller as his team floated far below him. One, two, three, four. They were all there, free of the lumbering bird and her nest of destruction. He had always loved to fly planes; it was in his blood, ever since his grandfather had dared to take him when he was a kid and could barely see over the sides, against his father’s wishes, up in the old crop duster that had seen better days long before the depression had ended. He still felt the urge to fly from time to time, but the war had brought with it a sobering change of heart. He no longer felt the freedom flying once gave him; instead, he felt a captive within the confines of the cockpit. He fretted like a mother hen over a brood of young chicks when he could not see or account for all the men under his charge. He felt the plane bank for the return run, saw the light flash above his head, counted the tiny white specs once more — one, two, three, four — before launching himself out into the open air, invigorated by the cold rush of air as he dived down through the clouds. Now this was flying.
*** The End***