BOB User Stories: A Celebration with Friends Episode I

A Celebration with Friends Episode I

It is Christmas Eve and a lone BF 109, the sole survivor of a German recon flight of six, limps along just above the cloud layers over a quiet English coastline that is draped in a mantle of soft snow.

Below the mottled gray 109, the bright moon casts a dark, wavering shadow that rolls along over the wispy canyons and misty slopes just feet below the struggling fighter. The powerful prop grinds on whipping out fiery sparks and a billowing smoke trail that wafts along and then drops out of sight into the swirling snow clouds behind the stricken aircraft.

Shadows flit about inside the gloomy, broken cockpit. Caught in the brilliant moon glow coming in through a hole in his frozen canopy above his wounded right shoulder, a veteran of the recent Battle of Britain is fighting his shot up controls. Major Max Grun-tannebaum puts more pressure on the rudder bar and shifts his weight to relieve the pain. As he does so he briefly considers the easy target he has now become for the night fighters if they’re able to take off in the storm tonight.

All this and more is on the major’s troubled mind yet he has a special glint in his one good eye as he peers across at his dimly lit instrument panel. Several important lights are out. Those that are working tell him he may barely beat the odds to return to base once more. Max slowly smiles as if his cold, stiff muscles had just been warmed to the bone by the thoughts of the holiday celebration he knew was still waiting for him just across the Channel. Just a few more kilometers and he would touch lightly down to be warmly surrounded and embraced by anxious friends. They would be looking for him now he thought… and praying.
Through a dark break in the clouds Max can now see the English coast coming up and the tiny lights of a town just below. The twinkling sparks of life seem so peaceful nestled down there in their deep blanket of white. These lights tempt thoughts of warm backsides turned much too close to blazing Yule logs and of silent, slumbering children, dancing sugarplums, nutcrackers, garlands of mistletoe and tables creaking with festive food and drink. Max couldn’t help smacking his dry lips as these pleasant thoughts drifted softly across his mind. If his Emil can hold together for just a few more kilometers, just a few more minutes…. BANG!! CRACK, CRACK! CRASH!

The agonizing terror of looking death straight in the empty eye sockets runs its icy fingers through every artery, vein and down every nerve of Max’s struggling body. There is no time to wait. There is only time to roll the dying fighter on her back, release the hood latches, hang for a split second to spit out a prayer, release the safety harness and then fall screaming for God’s mercy into a black blizzard and icy oblivion.

It is Christmas Eve and it seems this pilot will not be coming home tonight to celebrate with his friends.


Read the next entry in this user-created story here, whenever it becomes available.