I unhook straps. Ten seconds remain. Then, I’ll be buried in the tender gray.
I swim undisturbed above the sleeping enemy. Cloud coverage, my truest companion. Better than any bullet proof vest.
Seven seconds. We’re ordered to stand. I’m put off by the potpourri of men’s aftershave. Smells more like a family wedding than a platoon about to dive behind enemy lines.
“Protocol.” Sarg. stresses routines, though I’m doubtful many of us will make ground.
Four seconds. I grip my static line. Move towards the open door. Occasional artillery fire lights up the darkness with false stars. The pilot says we won’t get a second pass. He’s had to increase altitude.
Farther to fall means a longer time as targets. Greater odds I’ll be picked off by an alert patrolman.
Gravity will get me there, but not without the risk of endless repose.
© 2022 | K.Hartless
Lisa is host for tonight’s 144 word challenge incorporating these lovely lines:
In the tender gray,
I swim undisturbed.
by Celia Dropkin,
from “Sullivan County”