Posted: 11 July 2009
Word Count: 395
Summary: For Caroline's challenge
Simon lay in the grass. Above him, the deadly ballet of a dogfight cut white trails into the blue August sky. The distant whine of the engines was masked by the violin-rasp of South Downs grasshoppers.
Usually he'd rather be back home in Bermondsey, but today it wasn't too bad being an evacuee. Turning on his side, he could see far below him a crowd of people. gathered around a podium draped with the Union flag. They parted as the Parish councillor arrived, furiously pedalling a bicycle.
Breathless and red-faced, the councillor took the microphone. 'Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending. No effort has been spared to make this a most enjoyable occasion. I declare the village fete open!'
As Simon descended, a skylark rose, trilling its 'look at me' song but its music was drowned by the misfiring of an aircraft engine. The boy looked up and recognised the silhouette from the chart Mr. Tate kept at the farmhouse: a Messerschmitt 109.
Trailing black smoke, the plane flew low, keeping just above the trees. Kurt Seitz battled to keep the machine airborne. As he pulled back on the steering column, pain gripped him. Beneath his left arm, a fragment of cannon shell from a Spitfire worked its way toward his heart.
As a small valley opened up, the pilot's spirits lifted at the sight of flags and troops below. It was the opportunity for one last blow for the Reich.
Little Katy wasn't interested in the Boy Scouts marching, or the elderly Home Guards' drills. Her eyes were fixed on older brother James as he threw hoops at a goldfish in a bowl. If he won, he'd promised her the prize. She'd always wanted a pet.
As the sound of the stuttering engine grew louder, faces around her turned fearful. Suddenly people were running. James gathered her up and started up the nearby hill. Below them they could hear the pop-pop of the Home Guard Lee Enfields.
Seitz saw the children climbing, one clutching a doll, and recognised his error. He pulled back on the controls, and opened the throttle. Screaming its last, the engine pulled the aircraft higher, before suddenly falling silent.
The Messerschmitt gently banked to the left, and exploded against a chalk outcrop, a ball of orange flame.
Led by the councillor, people began clapping, until applause filled the air.
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