Red Bike Publishing Books

Monday, October 12, 2015

We're Flying!

    The roar of the engine frightened the natives, causing them to take cover on the ground. The propeller sent wet leaves and vines like miniature missiles flying in their direction, forcing them to stay prone until the plane pulled away.
     As he taxied down the strip, John cranked the flap setting to full in preparation for a short field take-off. As the wing’s trailing edges lengthened, he turned to check on Steve. His buddy was still restless, and not of much use. John set the brakes, running the engine to maximum power. The brakes groaned and the wheels longed to be free. John saw a blur pass before him as he realized the arrow assault had resumed. Something else caught his attention, and he saw how a character ran full speed toward the plane, a stone axe raised in attack.
     John released the brakes and plowed full power toward the end of the runway, but not before the foe released his ax. Striking Steve’s window, it splintered the glass like a complex spider web.
     John held the yoke back as far as possible to keep the nose wheel up. So far he had eaten a lot of ground and still hadn’t gotten off the strip as the long wet grass slowed them. He pulled the throttle to idle and crawled to a stop. At the end of the runway, he increased power to turn around before setting the brakes again. “I’ve got to make it this time,” he groaned, clenching the yoke with his left hand. With his right, he pushed the throttle.
     John released the brakes and began rolling. It wouldn’t be too hard to pick up speed as he headed down hill. He looked down the runway to see four people running in defiance toward him. As the plane lifted, he was encouraged as the sound of grass scraping the wheels was replaced with silence.
     “We’re flying!” John shrieked.
     As he neared the end of the runway, still only five feet above field, he tried to pull the yoke back. Nothing, it wouldn’t budge. He glanced right and noticed the unconscious Steve slumped across the controls.
      “Oh no, you don’t,” John said. He pulled Steve upright.

     Steve came to and yelped as the plane headed straight for the natives. He closed his eyes, anticipating the deadly propellers slashing them. Instead, the equally horrified people ducked to the ground as John pulled up and to the right. The plane responded with a slow roll as it climbed higher into the late morning sky.

Jeffrey W. Bennett, is the author of Commitment-A Novel and other non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Arrows and Hatchets

     “Hmm?” Steve answered groggily. He wore a stupid smile.
It’s not over. I need you to take the controls so I can prop the plane. Those guys drained the battery.”
     “Ok, fly to get more batteries,” Steve said in his delirium.
     “No! no! no!” John yelled. “I have to hand prop the plane. Listen; just hold your feet on the brakes.”
     John climbed out and turned the propeller a couple of times and prepared for a starting kick. Then he saw a commotion in the jungle. Some of the natives were holding up the ponchos where he and Steve had been. So far they hadn’t seen him.
     “Please, God, let this start,” John prayed before throwing the propeller downward.
     It went around sputtering but not catching. The alerted natives looked and moved slowly toward the plane, taking cover as they advanced.
     “Great, an audience.”

     A hastily fired arrow struck the back window and deflected high above John’s head. He jumped up and shoved the propeller with all his might as he came down. John ran a wide arc around the spinning propeller and entered under the left wing.

Jeffrey W. Bennett, is the author of Commitment-A Novel and other non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It's Time to Go

     Time passed slowly that morning. The natives searched for hours before finally leaving, or at least that’s what John hoped they’d done. The sun was higher in the sky and began burning off the rain water that fell the previous day. Once again fog and steam started to form, leaving John hoping for a gentle breeze to disperse it.
     His plan was simple. He would help Steve the seventy-five or so yards to the awaiting plane and take off straight down the runway. The airstrip sloped upward about five degrees, so he would need all the power the plane had. He nudged Steve, who less than alert.
     “It’s time to go.”
     “Huh? What’s going on?” Steve lifted his pale face, his glazed eyes trying to focus.
     “I need you to be alert. There are very dangerous people after us. We need to get to the plane. Do you understand?”          John spoke slowly, hoping the words would break through Steve’s clouded mind.
     “Just help me up and I’ll race you there.” Steve sobered suddenly, as he clumsily labored to his knees.
     John helped him and sighed in disbelief as his disoriented companion stumbled in the opposite direction. “I think you’ve been disqualified from this heat. Here, let me lead you.”
     Both scurried to the plane. It was like a nightmare as John imagined the plane getting farther away. Finally reaching it, John shoved Steve into the passenger seat.
     Running around the plane, checking for damage and remaining debris, he made a hasty pre-flight check. Satisfied, he reached to turn the power switch on-nothing.
     “Oh no, what next!” John punched the instrument panel.

     He immediately cut it off and back on. He heard the faint sound of the gyro and turned the key. Not enough power remained to start the motor. “Steve, Steve,” John yelled, shaking his buddy.

Jeffrey W. Bennett, is the author of Commitment-A Novel and other non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Primitive Man Meets Flying Machine

   The half naked group, armed with spears and bows and arrows, and one with a stone ax, fanned out once they neared the clearing. They moved in unison like a well-rehearsed infantry unit. Someone gave a bird call upon seeing the camouflaged airplane and the rest moved cautiously toward the source of commotion.
     John saw them move slowly toward the plane, and huddle around the leader. They looked for tell-tale signs of trouble, then regrouped as the leader gave instructions. On cue, they began removing the bushes and curiously rubbed their hands across the smooth surface of the plane. Some of them swung from the wings and struts, while others played with the control surfaces until the leader yelled a warning.
     The leader, dressed in a loincloth and wearing a necklace of bones and ornamental feathers, motioned for one of his subordinates to try the doors. The lackey finally figured how to open the pilot’s door and curiously played with the controls and buttons. He tripped the main power switch, activating the electronic gyro. The slow electrical windup suddenly turned into a high- pitched whir sending everyone scuttling for cover.

     John snickered at the comic relief, but only briefly. He needed to get Steve back to safety, and he knew the natives would soon recover from the scare. He rose to help Steve and timidly headed toward the plane. John ducked as the leader turned in his direction and pointed the others to fan out.     John knew the leader had sent out a search party. He pushed Steve down and jumped to his side, quickly pulling the poncho over them. At least the ponchos are green, John thought. Lying there, he heard the brush around him parting as a few people crept through it. They stopped within a few feet and talked. John could see their dirty feet from under the poncho and prayed they would leave before the sun revealed their hiding place.

Jeffrey W. Bennett, is the author of Commitment-A Novel and other non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.