Glancing left and right to make sure he was alone, Gabe made his way to the old airplane.
“Hot dog!” Gabe shouted with enthusiasm as he climbed up on the wing and then leaned wide-eyed into the cockpit.
Being a two-seater plane, he knew the pilot would sit in the back seat, so that’s where he needed to be. Pulling himself up over the edge, he plopped down in the seat. Finding a set of goggles, he happily slipped them on and grabbed the control stick.
“Clear!” He called out to the nonexistent ground crew as he reached forward and pretended to flip a switch. The motor roared to life in his mind’s ear.
Pulling the stick to take off, every move was accompanied by a sound effect of Gabe’s own making.
“Red Baron ahead!” He shouted over the air rushing past his ears. “I’ll take him down boys!” he yelled at the invisible planes flying in formation around him. “You guys hang back.”
Pulling the stick once more, he climbed into the clouds, working his way around so that his attack came out of the sun. Looking down to his right, he spots the tri-winged plane of his adversary below.
“Get ready to meet your maker Fritz!” Gabe called over the side as he pushed the stick forward and to the right, bringing the bright red plane into his sights.
“You’re mine now!”
“Dadadadadada,” he yelled, mimicking the sound of his gun going off.
The smile on his face said it all, he had singlehandedly downed the most feared German ace of the war.
“I told you guys I would…Jeepers!”
He ducked immediately onto the floor of the cockpit.
Having looked to his left to goad the rest of his imaginary squadron, he had spied two guys break out of the cornfield, running directly toward the plane. As he sat hunkered down on the floor, Gabe was beside himself.
“Dad’s gonna kill me,” he whispered to himself as the threat of discovery ran rapidly toward him.
Looking around quickly for a way out, he realized that the seat-back had a hinge on the bottom of it. Acting quickly, he grabbed the top of the cushion with both hands and pulled.
The cushion popped down, revealing an access hole to the luggage area in the back of the plane. Seeing no other alternative, Gabe slid up on the seat and wormed his way through the tight hole. Turning then in the tight confines of the luggage hold, he reached up and pulled the back of the seat into place.
“Jiminy Crickets!” he whispered to himself when he realized that he still had the goggles on. Ripping them off quickly, he pushed the seat forward again, replacing the goggles where he had found them and clicking the seat-back in place.
At that moment, a hatch opened behind him as one of the men threw two canvas sacks in the luggage hold.
“Get up there and get the engine cranked!” The man yelled to the other before slamming the hatch shut.
A few seconds later, the plane vibrated violently as the engine roared to life.
Gabe’s heart was in his throat when he realized what was happening. Sliding back to the hatch on the side of the plane, he tried to get it open, hoping to jump out before the plane gathered too much speed.
There was no way to open it from the inside.
He could feel movement then, the plane wheeling its way to the runway. Knowing he was stuck, Gabe worked his way toward the front of the hold again, reasoning that may be the best place to be.
It felt like his stomach dropped to the ground as the old plane suddenly left the confines of the earth. The roar of the engine and the wind flowing by the plane was deafening.
“Dad’s gonna kill me,” Gabe lamented over the noise, a cold sweat forming on his face. “He’s really gonna kill me!”