“It’s just over the hill, Herr Leutnant, you can still see the smoke coming from the crash,” Hochstein said as he mashed down the accelerator of the squadron lorrie.
Twenty-year old Leutnant Herbert Schonn fidgeted in his seat, the excitement not quite like he felt when he stitched fifty rounds of machine gun fire from the British Sopwith Pup’s tail to cockpit and watched it fall to earth, this earth, from 4,000 metres.
Cresting the hill, Schonn saw the French farmhouse upon which his first kill fell, one coffee-coloured wingtip rising above it from where the roof once protected its inhabitants, looking for all the world like a filthy gravestone .
“I’ll get you a souvenir,” Hochstein said as he jumped from his seat and ran to the house past a smudged and stained canvas under which, Schonn was told, lay the bodies of the old farmer, his wife and some of what was left of nineteen-year old Flight Lieutenant Ralph Sidney.
Hochstein ran up and thrust the red, white and blue British cockade insignia he’d cut from the fuselage and a scarlet-spattered photograph of a middle-aged woman upon a dead-silent Schonn, asking, “So how does it feel to hold victory in your hands?”
©Joseph Hesch 2012
This week’s little story is written in response to Lillie McFerrin’s Five-Sentence Fiction prompt “Victory.” It plays off the story from two weeks ago, which had the prompt “Scarlet.”