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SCAD Creative Fiction Writing I

Four planes took off from the carrier with a clamor and ascended into the morning sky.

At the end of the formation, Hiroto listened to the strained hum of the engine, its droning filling the cockpit. This battered airplane had been his home for the past two years. Every movement of the wings, every button and lever, every instrument in the contraption had evolved into an extension of Hiroto’s existence.

It was a disturbing thought that, in no less than thirty minutes, this aircraft would simply cease to exist.

Hiroto was going to die. Not only that, he was choosing to die by his own oath of loyalty. His commanding officers had probably marked him as “deceased” on their records by now.

“You will be remembered for your duty and honor,” the officer had promised. “You will become gods.” He waited for someone to come forward and volunteer for the suicide mission. Out of the gathering of soldiers, half a dozen brave souls approached the man, pledging unyielding allegiance to their emperor and country.

But Hiroto wasn’t brave; no, he was just exhausted, exhausted from the fighting and the crying and the screaming of war. If becoming a god meant escaping hell, Hiroto would gladly die a hundred times.

Or at least that’s what he’d envisioned in that fleeting moment of desperation. Now, up in the air at eight kilometers, Hiroto cursed himself for having chosen so recklessly. The surrounding pilots in the sky, all tied together by the same fate – did they remain steadfast in their decision? Or were they numb to the dizzying sensation of hopelessness that he was experiencing now?

The squadron soared underneath cumulus clouds as they journeyed at a crawl to their targets: three immense, steel-plated aircraft carriers, a fleet of floating warships that were making a course to the home shores.

Hiroto glanced at the view underneath the plane. The ocean stretched below, an endless mirage that cast off the bright sun’s rays like a brilliant mirror. The sight snared him; the blood left his cheeks and his fingers shook.

It was beautiful.

Mere minutes remained before the squadron would descend upon the approaching ships.

His engine sputtered; the fuel was dropping. Hiroto held the plane steady with an unnatural calm as the formation began to break apart.

The first airplane shot ahead, charging towards the middle ship. It arched over the ship, and then dropped.

Hiroto could hear the screams; he could feel the heat of the fire scorching him, turning him to ash. He could see the pilot in the crashed plane, a fallen god; the man caught in the smoldering rubble, skin charred, body crushed.

The engine stopped; the fuel had run dry. Hiroto’s arms slackened.

He maneuvered his plane into a nosedive, aiming not at the ship, but at the sea.


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