Amanty Aerodrome Building 47 – France
At the squadron’s makeshift bar, Lt. Mansfield Parkman (Princeton, Class of 1917) poured himself and Lt. Edmund Whitney (Class of 1918) another glass each of cognac, lifted his and said, “To our brave comrade, Albie Filmore, who lived, flew, fought and died with the greatest spirit of élan!”
At a small table across the floor of the leaking shed, Captain Fred Meek, a veteran of three years flying for France and now the United States, drained his own glass and said, “Yeah, Philmont seemed a spunky little fella, but buzzing around hellbent for election chasing Boche as he did, I figured he was bound to ‘go west’ in about a week’s time.”
“His name was Filmore, and how dare you sully the name of a brave young man while Taps still echoes in his memory?” Whitney said, charging from his canvas chair toward Meek with fists clenched.
“Easy there, Lieutenant, I was only making the observation — and you’d be wise to take to heart — that Filmore’s or any other pilot’s élan or whatever you romantic boys wish to call it doesn’t keep a watch out for you or your tail feathers, nor stop 7.92 mm machine gun rounds, at 12,000 feet,” Meek said, staring icy warning at the new pilot.
When Parkman gathered up Whitney and escorted him from the tent, Meek turned to his drinking companion, a fellow veteran flyer, and said, “Depending on the weather, I give each of those spunky idiots no more than five élan-filled days before they join their friend”…and it was four.
A shaky five-sentence fiction based on Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word SPUNK.