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Rated: E · Short Story · War · #2128408
An old pilot remembers his part in the Battle of Britain.
He could not see the English Channel. Neither could the old man focus on the contrails in the sky of airliners winging their way to Paris or Spain. But he recalled the contrails of older more sinister planes. Since, in August 1940, he flew those self-same skies in his Spitfire. He was defending the remnants of free Europe.

The memories came quick and fast.

Yellow-nosed fighters spitting fire at him.
The smell of cordite as he shredded the invading bombers.
The claustrophobic cockpit as he fought to bail out over a deathly sea.

He was breathless with the sharp clarity of those images.

Still, he got out.
They rescued him.
He survived.
His friends and drinking mates did not.

Why him?
Had he lived a life worthy of their loss?
Did he ever regain his lost youth in the misty years that followed?

A tap on the shoulder.
It was Marjorie the carer: 'Time to go home now, George'.
Time, yes time indeed.
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