They had taken so much fire as they crossed the German lines that the plane was barely staying in the air. Charles had made his way to cockpit to help the injured man, but he was dead by the time he got to him.
“We’re going down!” The remaining pilot shouted over the engine and wind noise. “I need you to help me keep the nose up, to try and get us as far as possible. Pull back hard on the stick and don’t let go.”
Charles nodded in understanding, grasped the stick and pulled back. It was like pulling back on a barrel of lead. “Jesus Christ” he muttered under his breath. Subconsciously he released a hand from the stick and reached for the locket containing Alexa’s picture that he always wore around his neck for good luck. They would need all the luck they could get.
The pilot swung the plane round and aimed for a field on the far side of a wooded area. He motioned for Charles to let go of the stick and the plane began to speed towards the ground, clipping the top of the last few trees.
“BRACE, THIS IS GOING TO HURT!”