Daniel Sintos Daniel Sintos
Recommendations: 16

Very intriguing piece. I'm not much for war stories, but the way you described this air-fight scene really captivated me. No idea what a yoke is, but it doesn't detract from the story proper (I'm guessing it's the wheel of the plane).

Daniel Sintos Daniel Sintos
Recommendations: 16

There are a few typographical errors (e.g., Zero's instead of Zeros and vice versa). Suggestion - Last paragraph could be written like this: ["Take that you bastards!" Content, he hit (crashed into?) the treetops and tumbled into the jungle.] Reasons behind the suggestion are a) adding "he shouted" is a bit redundant since there's an exclamation mark and b) we can assume those are his last words before his crash landing since the piece doesn't say any more. These are minor suggestions though, so take them as you will.

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - Smoke now plumed from his starboard wing tip leaving a dense black column against the bright blue of the sky. - " Nice detail!

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - The twin streams of fifty calibers swept ahead of him at 850 rounds per minute and 2756 feet per second. - " The 850 rounds per minute is good, but the amount of feet per second is not necessary as the mind instantly conjures up bullets shredding steel anyway. It acts rather like a 'speed bump' taking away from the sentence with too much information that - again - is not necessary.

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Don Yarber Don Yarber
Recommendations: 42

Prologue to "Death and Deep Waters"


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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

This is the prologue from my Kip Yardley mystery novel, "Death and Deep Waters"  Chapter 1 will be posted later.


DEATH AND DEEP WATERS


By Don Yarber


          The P38 pilot didn’t know the only greeting party he would have waiting for him on his return from a reconnaissance mission would be determined to kill him.
         The Japanese Zeros had bombed and strafed the runway on the tiny island, and potholes from the bombs made it impossible to get the American P38’s off of the ground.  The remaining P38 in the air didn’t have a chance against the seven Zeros that were still flying.
         He fought bravely, using every trick he had learned.  He tried barrel rolls, loops, wingovers, spinning dives, tail slides and anything else that he could think of but he couldn’t shake all of the Zeros.  He managed to shoot down three of the ten that had hit the island in the early morning hour.
       When he noticed the smoke filling the cockpit he knew the end was near.  Determined to take as many of the enemy with him as possible, he tried a last daring maneuver that would bring him the satisfaction that one fewer Zero would return to the Japanese carrier.   One less enemy pilot would live to tell his grandchildren about the dogfight.
       He pulled the yoke back as hard and fast as he could and the P38 responded with a vertical climb that made the engines whine.  Smoke now plumed from his starboard wing tip leaving a dense black column against the bright blue of the sky.  At the right moment he pulled out of the vertical climb and reversed the momentum of the aircraft into a spiraling dive.  He watched the ground approach dizzily.  When he felt the tail start to flutter, he hoped that the aircraft would stay intact long enough to pull this one off.  He knew that his chances of pulling out of the dive were slim to none.
       He could see three of the Zeros below him.  Oddly, it appeared as though they were spinning and he was suspended in time and space.  Five hundred feet from the calm water of the ocean, he pulled back on the yoke, praying that the airplane would pull out of the dive when it hit the denser, moist air coming off of the ocean.  
       Miraculously the P38 responded to elevator trim.  It swooped over the waves a mere 50 feet above the surface and started to climb under the three Zeros.  When he had them in his sights he pressed the ‘fire’ button on the yoke.  The twin streams of fifty calibers swept ahead of him at 850 rounds per minute and 2756 feet per second.   He watched, satisfied, as one of the Zeros wing flew away and before he noticed the red smears on the windshield from his own blood, he grinned.
       “Take that you bastards!” he shouted.  Those were the last words he thought before his plane hit the treetops and tumbled into the jungle.
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