Jane McCaffrey

JANE McCAFFREY

A note on the Following story

     This story comes from the deepest parts of my mind. Where all my stories come from. I cannot say that it is purely fictional because I do not know that to be the truth. The names come from my mind and the events come from the same place. Some of the story may contain true events. I do not know. For this story the only outside material used will be from the book The Grapes of Wrath.

     This story spans a number of years. It is told in the format of a diary, but for the most part in the present tense. It starts in the year of nineteen thirty-six and will end in the year of nineteen forty-three. It spans these later years in order to tell about the character and the effects the depression had on World War II. Once again this story comes only from my mind.

JANE McCAFFREY

1936

     I walk out of the house at six-thirty that morning. It is the third Monday of May in the year of nineteen-thirty-six. I look at the sunrise in the east and I see, close to the horizon, a deep red glow.

     I remember conversations with the travelers that have passed through this area. They tell of huge clouds of dust and dirt. They are all traveling west, past the state that I live in, heading for California. I watched them day after day, moving slowly toward the west. They never see the others ahead of them and they refuse to listen to the reason that we try to make them see. I have seen many people be given the information and then continue on without even acknowledging the fact that we are trying to help them. We are close enough to their homeland that they could turn back and try to find work elsewhere. Yet they don’t heed the warnings of us or the people that are returning from the west, unable to find work. I wish that they would listen to us, we see what’s going on, yet they don’t. 

     I have tried to help many of these travelers. I have given them food, clothing for the children, and anything else that I could without raising suspicion from my parents. They would be upset if they found out that I was helping those in need of my help. They think that those people are in trouble because of their own folly, but I think different. I read about the troubles that the farmers were having and I have heard the stories from the farmers themselves. The drought and the low prices of the crops are what put them out, and I am doing everything that I can to help them because I believe that you can’t help fate.

     I walk down the lane a little bit and I come to a battered old Ford. This car has been abandoned here for many days so I walk right past it. Then I hear a child crying. I walk slowly back to the old Ford. I look in the passenger side, lying on the floorboard of the passenger side is a tiny child.He appears to be about six months old. He is  obviously malnourished and was probably abandoned so that his family wouldn’t have another mouth to feed. I reach in the car and pick him up. He whimpers a little bit and then quiets down.

     I quickly run back to my house. I figure that if I can get him inside my house soon enough before everybody else wakes up then I can maybe take care of him and find him a home. I sneak inside the house and into my room. I lay the child on my bed and I cover him with a light blanket, then I run down to the kitchen and I look for a bottle. I found one that was used for one of the servants babies a year ago. I wash it out and fill it with some milk that I warmed on the stove. Then I go back up to my room.

     The child is still laying on my bed whimpering a little. I pick him up and put the bottle to his lips. He sucks hungrily and soon is content. He goes to sleep and I leave the room. I walk to the balcony and start thinking again. I have never defied my parents like this before, will they be angry if they find out about the child? I decide that I must tell  them and hope that they will see my reasoning. I hope that they will help me find a home for the child. I hope that we can  find a home for the child.

      ***

     I bring up the subject of the child at breakfast. I tell my parents the truth, I tell them that I was taking my daily walk and found the child in the old abandoned Ford that I had mentioned a few days earlier. I ask them if they will allow me to care for the child until I can find a suitable home for him. Reluctantly they agree, after my mother explains that she would have done the same thing had it been her.

     I then promise my parents that I would take care of the child until I find a home for him and that they wouldn’t have to do a thing. The child would be my responsibility.

December 1936

     I have looked for many months for a family for the child, whom I have named George Michael,  but I still have not found a home for him. He is starting to crawl about and talk some. He refers to me as mommy and I don’t know now if I can  give him up. I almost want to ask my parents if they can adopt him, or if I can. All the other families are losing money and cannot afford to have another child and everybody seems to think that I am doing a good job of caring for him, even my parents. I wish that I could find his family though and ask what would make them give up this child, nobody could pay me to give up a child that I had bore myself.

     I hear of things getting worse in the plains and I worry about the farmers and I think about George Michael’s past and what it holds, and that I will never know it.

1937

     I finally convinced my father to hire some of the out of work farmers. He was reluctant at first, but then I told him that they knew their jobs and would be grateful for the work. He then started hiring a few workers at a time and then more and more as he discovered how well they worked.

     I have made friends with many of the women and they have told me about the truth of their home that is not told by the papers. They tell about how they had to borrow money from the banks and then when the crash hit,  the banks wanted their money back. The farmers didn’t have it and the banks took the collateral, namely the people’s homes and land. With nothing to live in and with no land to work on they left, taking their families with them.

     I walk out to the fields where the people work. George Michael walks with me and talks animatedly and loudly about how much fun he had playing with my mother. I ask him what else he did and he tells me that he went walking among the workers with my father.

     He waves hello to the workers now as we walk past. They all wave back, they have taken a liking to him. They all know that he is one of them and they are willing to help him, more than they are willing to help me or any other member of my family. They look at my taking care of him as almost a kind of insult to them, but they also respect me for it.

     I ask a few of the workers where they stay when they are not at work. They say that they live in a shack camp down the road a little. I plan to walk down to this camp in a couple of days, to try to see if I can convince my father to set aside a piece of the property for our workers to live on. I also want to try to get him to raise the wages to ten cents a barrel instead of seven cents a barrel. I’m just glad that we have a year round crop of oranges and cotton and a mixture of other things so that we have constant work for these people.

     Many of the workers have said that they have seen how I am raising George Michael and would like to see that I keep him and not try to find another family for him now. They say that he is too attached to me now and to separate me from him now would tear him apart. I sometimes argue that he is only a year old and would forget me soon enough, but they argue that he is a bright child. Even though he is only a year old he already speaks well and is more active and attentive than any other one year old that they have ever met.

     I am considering asking my parents if they would allow me to adopt George Michael, but I am afraid to ask. I am afraid that they will say no.  I am also considering asking my parents if they   would consider adopting him but I doubt that they would. I wonder if there is any way that I would be able to keep him. I’ll ask soon but I doubt that I’ll be able to keep him.

September 1937

     I finally asked my parents if I could be the one to adopt George Michael. They said that since I had taken care of him so far and I was all that he knew then it was all right with them. When they told me this I was so happy that I couldn’t sit still for hours.

     ***

     I am adopting George Michael on the thirteenth of September of the year nineteen hundred and thirty-seven. He is now to be George Michael McCaffrey, my legal, if not biological, son. All of the workers are happy because they see one of their own being taken in when he was left to die. I am happy because now I know that I won’t lose him or have to give him up to another family.

     I see things starting to clear up in the east. When I look there in the mornings now I don’t see that reddish-black cloud anymore. I also don’t read as much in the newspapers about the troubles that the farmers are having. I hope that things are clearing up as the newspapers say. If they are then these people that are working for us can maybe improve their lives and start over. I don’t like seeing anybody living with the troubles that these people have had.

     I hear of riots and troubles to the west of us. I hear that in California the farmers are not getting paid enough so are rioting and causing a huge mess. I hear that the police have been called in to many cities to help the rich land owners. I wish that the land owners would give in and pay the farmers more money, it’s not as if they   need it and the farmers do. I also wish that I could help more than I am, but for now this is all that I can do.

     I pick up a newspaper and look at the headlines. The headlines read: HUGE WIND  STORMS WIPE OUT CROP IN OKLAHOMA. “Nothing new,” I say to myself. “It happens all the time lately.”

     1938

     It’s July thirty-first. I walked to town this morning for groceries. While I was there I heard the shopkeeper yell at a person on his porch, “Get the hell off of my porch, you damn Okie.”

     When I was paying for the groceries I asked the shopkeeper what he meant by that. He said that the guy sitting on the porch was a farmer that was out of work. The farmer had been begging for food earlier that day and had been told to leave already. When he didn’t leave was when the shopkeeper got mad and yelled at him.

     ” What was that name that you called him?” I asked.

    ” Huh/ What was the name that you’re referring to?” he replied.

     ” You called him something that sounded like ‘ Okie’,” I told him.

     ” Oh, yeah, that, I call all of them farmers that.”

     ” What’s it mean?”

     ” It’s just a name that we use. Means that they come from Oklahoma, or at least it did originally, but now we just group ’em all in together. Doesn’t matter where they come from.”

     ” You mean to tell me that you treat these people as if they don’t have a home?”

     ” They don’t anymore,” he said, closing the argument.

     I walked out of that store today feeling low and dirty. I felt like it was a sin to have a home now.

     ***

     I’m playing with George Michael again. I wonder if the family that abandoned him has found a home yet. I hope that they have, yet I believe that they haven’t.

     I read the newspaper almost daily now. This morning I read a short article about problems in Europe. The section that I read said that Europe is facing the same economic problems that we are. I wish that the people would see that, but they don’t. It also said that the problems are causing problems between countries. I hope that there isn’t another war, yet I am afraid that there will be one. If there is another I hope that it isn’t like the last one.

     My father has given all of the workers a raise. Things are looking better here, and I hope that soon the problems that we are facing will disappear. I want for the country to be as it was before, fun and happy. I don’t want it to be broke, down, and depressing, Like it is now.

1939

     My birthday was yesterday. One of my presents was a book that was just recently published. The name of the book is The Grapes of Wrath. I started reading it last night. I doubt that I will finish it. It started out by talking about the land and what’s happening with it. I didn’t get but a couple of chapters through before I decided that this was exactly like the news that I had been reading for years now. Then I got to the part of the story where the characters came in and I decided that these were like the people that I had been striving to help for so long now. Then I put the book down, I couldn’t take any more of it, I had seen too much first hand.

     I walk down the hall to George’s room. I peek my head through the door and look in on him. He’s only three years old, but he looks and acts much older. He’s so smart, and kind, and charming. I wonder how he’ll act when he grows up. I hope that he keeps high standards throughout his life. He turns over as I watch him, he senses my presence. I close the door and walk back to my room.

     When I reach my room I see that the maid has left the paper for me. I look at the first section. On the third page I see an article with the headline that says: ENGLAND DECLARES WAR ON GERMANY, AMERICA REMAINS NEUTRAL. I look at this in shock. I remember the  stories that my parents tell of the last war, how we remained neutral and then why we entered the war. I hope that it won’t be like that this time. I hope that we don’t have to enter the war. I hope that the war is only going to be a small one and then be over. I don’t think that it will be though. I think that the world is in too much turmoil to resolve it’s problems quickly.

     I walk over to my window. Across the field I see the latest farmer camp lit up with fires. In the dim light I also see children running and playing. The children are happier than they were before,  I think to myself. They are not scared to show the child side of themselves anymore. They have been here for a long time and are not afraid. This must mean that their parents are comfortable here too, otherwise they wouldn’t let the children play like this. I  just hope that this is almost the end of this time period so that these people can find a home and not look down upon those of us that are forced to stay in ours.

     I watch for some time that evening, until nearly all of the fires were extinguished. I still feel dirty about having a home when they cannot afford one but I know that I must stay here. Slowly I pull the curtains shut. Then I walk over to my bed and drift off to sleep.

October  1939

     I sit on the passenger train heading back to my homeland in the west. My father had to perform some business transactions in the east and invited me along. I almost wish that I hadn’t gone. I have now seen what these farmers have faced first hand, but I have also seen how many of the farmers have been able to stay here and survive.

     I think that we are now in the central part of Oklahoma. As I look out of the windows of the train I see fields. The fields are barren and wind swept, and as I watch a new gust of wind comes and scatters more of the precious topsoil.

     Then, through the wind and dust, I see a man, he is just standing there looking at the field and the dust. He falls to his knees and I can almost hear his thoughts. He is praying that the wind will stop and that God will send rain to help the crops grow, so that his family can survive.

     I watch that man until he is out of sight. He appeared to be a noble man, and I feel sorry for him.

December 1939

     I am sitting working with book keeping for our household. I am starting a new set of calculations when a man walks in. I look up at him. He appears to be about my own age and is dressed in rags. It is clear that he hasn’t had a bath in a few weeks and he is in need of a shave. I make note of his appearance for future reference. 

     I put down the page that I am working on.  “May I help you?” I ask.

     ” I was wondering if you might happen to have any work available,” he says.

     “I’m sorry, sir, but at this time we have nothing available. If you would like to try again though feel free to come back and ask again.”

     “Thank you for your time. I hope that we will meet again. Good-bye.” Then he walks out.

     I watch him walk down the lane. Little clouds of dust rising up behind his heels. At the end of the lane he turns, looks back, tips his hat, turns back around and continues walking away. For some odd reason I have the feeling that what he said will happen and that we will see each other again.

1940

     People are  starting to leave again. There are reports that solid work is available in the east, and the people are going for it. I am happy for them, but I will miss some of the people that I have met.

      I have not heard from that man who came looking for a job back in December again. I am amazed that I haven’t because the people say that he is still around. I want to see him again. I want to find out why he came to me.

     George Michael is growing well. He is almost ready to start learning at the Catholic school down the road, the only one around these parts. I have already spoken with teachers from the school and George Michael will start school after Christmas.

     I hope that George Michael will not be teased at school. He is a bright child and will enter school earlier than most children. Also the other students know of his past and might treat him as an outsider because of it. I hope that it will not happen that way.

     I walk outside. I am heading toward the fields where the workers are. The fields are getting empty. They are trying to go home. I don’t blame them, it would be nice to have a home after all this time without one. Sometimes I wish that I could go with them,  to find out what it’s like.

     I say hello to a couple of the workers, then I head back to the house. As I walk in the door George Michael attacks from the hall. “Mommy, mommy,” he yells, “come see what I did!”

     “What did you do?” I ask as I follow him to his room.

     ” I drew a picture!”

     I look at the picture. It looks like a bird with fire coming out of its feet. “What is it a picture of?” I ask.

     Then George Michael looks at me very confused, “It’s a picture of you, Mommy.”

     “But, George, that looks like a bird with fire on its feet.”

     “I know, that’s what you are, sometimes…”

     “Well either way it’s a lovely picture,” I said. Then I left, very confused.

***

     At dinner that night I am still thinking about the picture that George Michael drew. It made me think about the way that children’s minds work. I wonder what he sees, and thinks. I look at him and I see a special brightness in his eyes. He looks at me as if he knows something that I don’t know, then the brightness is gone and he is a normal child again.

September 1940

     I am standing in line in the post office when I see a piece of paper that catches my attention. I pick it up and read the top line. It reads, “BRITISH ARMY LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS: Looking for Pilots, Nurses, Infantrymen, Sailors, and Technicians. Will accept trained or non-trained volunteers. Varying pay rates. Those interested should inquire at the town hall on the twenty-third of September at six-thirty p.m. Will accept all that meet health requirements.”

     I placed the flyer back on the top of the stack. Then thinking again, I picked it back up, folded it and placed it in my bag. As much as I hated the thought of war I wanted to help to make things better for the people who couldn’t get away from it.

     ” May I help you ma’am?” asked a voice.

     I looked up. There was a lady looking at me from behind the counter. “Uh, yes, I need some stamps and I need to mail two letters.”

     “How many stamps do you need?” asked the lady.

    “Twelve, including the two that need to go on the letters.”

     “Okay, ma’am. That will be fifty cents.”

     I handed her the money and the letters. She handed me back ten stamps and I left, still thinking about the flyer.

September Twenty-third 1940

     I sit in the third row back. I am one of only about twenty women here tonight. I look around. I see very few people that I know, most of the people here are farmers that still haven’t left the area. As I look around I see a man a few rows back. He looks familiar, but I can’t quite place him. He looks at me and smiles, then he looks away again.

     “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention, please?” asks a man as he steps up to the podium.

     The entire hall quiets at hearing his words. We all turn and look at the man on the podium. He speaks again, “May I assume that you are all here to volunteer for the British Army?”

     Nobody answers. We all look around to make sure that he assumes correct. Then he continues, “Since everybody is here to volunteer I will explain the procedure.”

     The night continues with him explaining why Great Britain wants American volunteers to help with the war. He explains that  the British Army didn’t have enough people to fight on their own so they were looking for volunteers. He explains that they need all the people that they can get. Then he finds out who wants to volunteer for what and he has us speak with people from that field.

     By the end of the night I am signed up as a volunteer nurse. My training starts in two weeks and two weeks after that I leave for Europe. I walk out of the building with a strange feeling in my heart.

November 1940

     I am sitting on a boat on course to England. We have been on the boat for a few days now, and we have just been informed that we will arrive at out destination in a few hours. I am happy about that, I am tired of this boat.

     Both my parents and George Michael  were unhappy about me volunteering for this. They wanted me to stay at home and be a good little rich girl. I wanted to be able to do something to make life easier for at least one person and this is a way that I can do it. I already miss George Michael though. I hope that he will be okay without me.

     I look out on the ocean again. It is so pretty, yet such a dangerous place. Like the continent to which I am headed.

1941

     So far this year I have seen many injured soldiers and many bodies. I have become accustomed to blood and the sight of battle. I hear planes on a daily basis flying over the base. Some of them are ours and some of them are the enemy. As they pass over the base we hear the sounds of battle, and sometimes debris falls nearby.

     We have weekly dances on the base now. It seems to be the only way to raise morale. I don’t attend many of them. Mostly I just sit in my quarters and read. I write to my parents and George Michael as well. I do miss them.

     I hope that this war will end soon. Actually we all do. We are all ready to go home and not have to face this war any longer.

     I walk over to the window and look out. In the sky I see a plane and out on the road I see a truck coming in. They start honking in the truck. Recognizing the signal, I walk out. Another load of bodies and injured are on the way in.

December 1941  

     As I read the front page of the newspaper I nearly collapse. The front page reads, “JAPANESE BOMB PEARL HARBOR: U.S. Declares war on Japan and then on Germany.” I walk over to a nearby truck and sit on the bumper. Then I read the headline over again. I look at the date at the top of the paper, it’s nearly a week old.

     One of the fighter pilots, the one that the bombers call the Guardian, runs by, a cloth in his hand. He is the young man that I couldn’t place at the meeting. I call out to him, “Hey, Guardian, where are you going?”

     “I’m going to clean my plane, Dragonwing,” he yells back.

     ” Did you hear the news?” I ask, knowing that I was the first to get a hold of this particular paper.

     He turns around and walks over to me. Then he says, ” No, what’s the news?”

    “Here, look for yourself,” I say, then I hand him the paper.

     I can see in his face that he is as shocked as I am. He looks up at me. “Is it true?” he asks.

     “If it’s not it’s a horribly cruel joke,” I reply.

     He hands me back the paper. Then he continues on to his plane, the happy bounce out of his step. I wonder if I should have told him.

1942

     It’s early in the year. We just got report that German fighters are on their way to attack.

I walk out to the “road” and watch as the pilots run by, on the way to their planes. Something seems odd about the way that they are running, then I see Guardian. He runs a few steps, then he throws up, then a few more steps then he throws up again. I watch this until he falls down on the tarmac. Then I call over the nearest doctor and say to him, “Doctor, we need to get that man in the hospital. He isn’t safe to fly right now.”

     “Let him fly. He is just drunk,” replies the doctor.

     “Doctor, I don’t think that he is drunk. I have never even heard of him drinking. Besides, if we let him fly he will probably crash and do more damage than if we keep him grounded today.”

     The doctor grumbles something and then says, “Okay, we’ll keep him down today.” Then he says to some of the male nurses, “ See that pilot? The one that’s stumbling? Go get him and confine him in the hospital.”

     The men run out and attempt to bring Guardian in. Guardian shrugs them off and continues walking. They call over more men to help and attempt to bring him in again. Finally, with five men working to restrain him, they bring Guardian into the hospital.

     The doctor orders that Guardian be put in my section of the hospital, I figure that he would do that. Then he leaves, snickering at me as he walks out. I walk over to Guardian. “How are you feeling?” I ask.

     Guardian just glares at me and then gets up.

     “Guardian, you’re sick and need to stay here,” I say as I push him back onto the bed.

     I move away then he gets up, preparing to leave. I get mad, I had asked him to stay. “I asked you to stay here,” I say. Then I punch him in the forehead.

     Guardian collapses back onto the bed, rubbing his head. My hand is throbbing from where I punched him. I look at the spot where I punched him, and seeing that it was already turning red I say, “ Stay here. I’ll be right back with some coffee for you and an ice pack for the place where I hit you.”

     I walk out into a different room. I get some coffee and I prepare an ice pack. Then I take them both back into the room where Guardian is. As I walk through the door I see the guards pushing him back towards a bed. One of them looks at me and shrugs. The guard says, “This pilot really wants to be in the sky today.” Then he pushes Guardian onto the bed.

     I walk over to Guardian and I say, “I thought I told you to stay here.” Then I set the ice pack and the coffee down on the table next to him.

     I walk away to see to some other patients when I hear a rustling sound. I turn around and I see Guardian trying to get up again. I walk back over to him and punch him, again, in the same place. Then I say to him, “Stay put.”

     I go back and continue what I was trying to do before when I hear the rustling again. I wait for the rustling to stop. When it doesn’t stop walk back over and punch Guardian, again. Then I say, “ I told you to stay put. Since you didn’t want to listen to me I’ll just sit here and make sure that you listen.”

     We just sit there and stare at each other for about five minutes, then I say, “You’re not going anywhere and because you might try I’m not either so you might as well tell me about yourself.”

     He glares at me and then he says, “What do you want to hear?”

     “I want to hear about your life.”

     “Why? It was horrible until I got here.”

     “Do we just want to sit here and stare at each other then? If so then I might as well sedate you so that I can do some of my other work.”

     “Fine, I’ll tell you about my life. I was born in nineteen nineteen. My mother named me Jake. I had a horrible childhood and I don’t care to talk about it. The last time I ever saw anybody from my family was when my father kicked me out in nineteen thirty-one. He figured that one less mouth to feed would help keep the family from losing money. All that I had when I left was a few personal belongings and the clothes on my back. That is my life.”

     “Well what did you do after you were kicked out?”

     “I wandered around the countryside.”

     “Well tell me about it.”

     “Well, a few days after I left the money that I had ran out. I had to sell one of the few personal belongings that I had. I know that I didn’t get it’s value worth, but I did get enough to have a month’s worth of motel rooms, food for that month, and transportation. I traveled around many different states looking for work, but this was when everybody was looking for work so I didn’t find any. Eventually I ran out of money again. From there I hitchhiked around, doing odd jobs and helping where I could.”

     “What did you see in your travels?”

     “I saw much of the middle portion of America. I saw Oklahoma and Texas. I saw Mississippi and Missouri. I saw people leaving their homes, their dreams. I saw entire farms destroyed because of dust and the lack of rain. I saw men kill themselves because they couldn’t find work and they thought that they had failed their families.

     I also saw much of the east. I saw men living in gutters, and children that couldn’t have been any older than five working eighteen hour days to help support their families. I saw lines of people waiting for a possible job opening or in line for help and possibly food.

     All this I saw and during all of this I was glad that I didn’t have a family to feed and I could keep going until I either found a job or ran out of money again.”

     “What finally happened? Did you find a job or did you run out of money?”

     “I ran out of money in the little town that we were recruited from. That was in nineteen thirty-eight. From then I just did odd jobs and finally got a job. I was fired from that job the day of the meeting and that’s how I ended up here.”

    I just stared at him for a little while and finally I said, “Wow.”

     “Yeah, that’s about what I think. That and I’m damn lucky.”

     “That you are. That you are,” I said.

     “If you want to do your own work I’ll behave now, and I’m feeling much better.”

     “We’ll probably release you today or tomorrow so just relax and I’ll talk to you later.”

     “Okay.”

     With that I went back to my own work and didn’t worry about him leaving any more.

 

     A couple of other people are complaining about stomach problems. I think that the entire base, Guardian included, got a case of food poisoning. I think that Guardian got the worst of it though. That’s why he was so sick.

1943

     I walk with Guardian along the road. We have become a lot closer over the past year. We are discussing his favorite subject, his plane, Dragonwing. He is telling me about how well she flew on the last mission. Then he asks me something totally unexpected.

     “Are you going to the dance tonight?” he asks.

     “I don’t know I haven’t gone to any so far,” I reply. “Why do you ask?”

     “I don’t know. I was just thinking that I might like to go for once, and I was wondering if anybody that I know was going to be there.”

     “Well I’ll think about going. It might get my mind off the latest letter that I got from home.”

     “Will I see you there then?”

     “Maybe, I don’t know. I guess just show up and look for me.”

     “Okay.”

That  Night

     I walk into the hall and look around. I don’t see Guardian anywhere. I walk over to a wall and take a seat. I hope that he shows up. As I wait a couple of other guys ask me to dance, but I decline. I am about to leave when Guardian walks through the door. He looks around a minute and then spots me. He walks over and puts out his hand. “Care to dance fair maiden?” he asks.

     “Yes, thank you very much,”I say as I take his hand as he leads me onto the dance floor.

     Later that night I think that the dance was the most fun that I had had in years. I go to bed that night happy and with a lighter spirit.

The Next Day

     It’s about noon that the klaxons start blaring. Another attack is on the way. I’m walking with Guardian again when the alarm sounds. We both start running out to his plane. As he gasses up I say to him, “Good Luck.”

     “Don’t need it, but thanks,” he replies. Then he kisses me on the cheek and climbs into his plane. Then he taxis and then takes off. I watch from the tarmac as he climbs and maneuvers into attack position.

     On the horizon I see the German attackers coming toward the base. Guardian engages the fighters and is immediately caught in a dogfight. The fighting moves away and I watch until my eyes are straining to see the action.

     Suddenly I hear a high-pitched whining noise. I look up in the sky. I see a small dot growing larger and larger. The whining gets louder. Then I realize that what I’m seeing is a bomb, and it’s coming toward us. The bomb keeps falling, getting closer and closer and closer. Falling down and down and down.

     My last thought before the bomb explodes is “OH SHIT!!!!!”

THE END

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