Happy Landings HTML version

Duncan James
Published by Duncan James
Copyright 2012 Duncan James
by Duncan James
Luke Edwards was in a bit of a sweat, if he was honest.
Not that it was hot or anything, although it should have been, bearing in mind
it was the end of August. But he was in a rush, and it was late on a Friday.
Everyone else went home early for the weekend on Fridays. But not him. His editor
had decided he desperately wanted photographs, and Luke was a photographer on the
staff, so Luke got sent. His was a 24/7 job – that’s what they called it these days.
None of this 9 till 5 stuff for him. He was on-call all the time. Accidents, fires,
murders, VIPs, you name it – he got called out to get pictures for the paper, and to get
them before anyone else got them for a rival paper.
So that’s why he was in a bit of a sweat.
It seemed to him that it had been raining for weeks. They said, whoever
„they’ were, that it was the wettest August since records began, although nobody
seemed quite sure when that was. But suddenly the river had burst its banks, as
„they’ said it would, and the town was flooding, and there were people in rowing
boats down the High Street, and the trains had stopped, and cars had been abandoned
and everything.
“So get some pictures”, was the message.
Except that if the town was flooded, he couldn’t get into it, could he, he
pointed out to his editor, looking at how near it was to going home time.
“I’ll fix that,” said the editor, grabbing the phone. “I’ll hire an aeroplane, and
you can take pictures from the air. Much better!”
That was another reason Luke was in a bit of a sweat. He hated flying, and he
just knew what was in store. The editor had done it to him before. There was a
small private airfield not far out of town, and the editor knew someone who had one
of those little aeroplanes which was parked there. Propeller at the front, wings on
top, two seats and that was it. You know the sort.
“Perfect for air-to-ground photography,” claimed the editor. “The wings
don’t get in the way of the view.”
Luke’s stomach churned at the very thought of it, but there was no escape.
“My chum’s aeroplane is not being used, so get there fast,” he was ordered,
phone call over. “It’ll be on the end of the runway with the engine going by the time
you arrive.”
„Runway’ was a bit of a joke, too. It was a grass airstrip. But at least it
wasn’t far from the flooded town or from the newspaper’s office. With any luck it
would all be over in half an hour or so.