Written for Alastair’s Photo Fiction. Good God, Alastair! If I’d known you posted a Hurricane pic, I’d have written sooner. I went a bit long (356 words) with your broader rules, but I couldn’t help it as this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I promise to behave in the future. Story begins after the photo.
Dedicated to, “The Few.”
Genre: Speculative Fiction/Historical Fiction
Word Count: 356
Flying Officer Howard Howsham had the 109 in a scissors, an aerial maneuver where the fighter planes rolled over and under, swishing left and right, each trying to bring their guns to bear on the other. Howsham’s Hawker Hurricane was less capable than the Spitfire in maneuvers above 2000 meters, but below that mark the Hurricane could out-turn the German Messerschmitt. As the combatants fought, Howsham’s mount bit into the thicker air while their altitude declined. He would have the Jerry soon.
His hopes were dashed when a lucky round of 7.7mm disabled his left aileron. His ability to roll suddenly curtailed and unable to maintain the scissors, Howsham dove and sought out a cloud. He needed to hide and hoped to lose his pursuer in a cloud’s thick folds. Only one peculiarly pink cloud was near enough. Howsham dove and entered as 20mm cannon rounds streaked past him.
“Here, we have the most pristine example of Hawker Hurricane anywhere in the world,” announced the tour guide. “It appeared over Duxford quite unexpectedly, with bullet damage to it’s left wing. No one knows where the plane came from. It had disappeared in action 60 years ago during the Battle of Britain.
“The young pilot, dazed and disoriented, disappeared shortly after landing the aircraft. No one knows what became of him.”
The guide paused to allow for pictures before she directed them to the next exhibit. Looking back at her flock, she noticed one man stayed behind, reverently stroking the left wing of the old war bird. “Sir!” She called. “Sir, we are not allowed to touch the aircraft!”
The young man turned as she stomped up to him. His stern blue eyes told her, in no uncertain terms, she had no right to discuss what he could do with the aircraft. Undaunted, she said, “Mr….uh…”
“Howsham,” he provided.
The guide’s eyes bulged. She was a historian with an intimate knowledge of the aircraft. She stepped back, momentarily stunned, then spun on her heel and ran, calling for the security guards.
Howsham stayed with his airplane, lost in memories.
“Red flight. This is Starlight Control. Trade for you bearing 3-5-3, Angels 16…”
Each week, Alastair Forbes presents one of his own photos as a prompt for creative minds to write 100-200 words of prose or poem. Anyone may join in this deluge of creative flow. This week’s prompt may be found here: http://alastairsphotofiction.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/photo-fiction-august-4th-2013/
I love military aircraft history and flight simulations. I often play a flight simulation (Strike Fighters 2) that allows for massive customization. The base simulation includes jet aircraft from the 60s to 80s. With the help of an international group of “modders” (people who modify the game), I was able to piece together an era-specific copy of the game simulating the Battle of Britain complete with Supermarine Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes. Below is screenshot of me in a Hawker Hurricane (Same plane as in Alastair’s photo – a bit damaged from defensive fire) engaging a flight of German Dornier Do-17 bombers.