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.
“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 spun around sputtering but not catching. The alerted natives looked and moved slowly toward the plane, taking cover as they advanced.
“Great, an audience.”
Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing. Jeff is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. He also owns Red bike Publishing. Published books include: "Get Rich in a Niche-Insider's Guide to Self Publishing in a Specialized Industry" and "Commitment-A Novel". Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook". See Red Bike Publishing for print copies of: Army Leadership The Ranger Handbook The Army Physical Readiness Manual Drill and Ceremonies The ITAR The NISPOM