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Flight Path.

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  • Flight Path.

    Temporary quarters, that’s what they told us, the truth was that we were baggage not wanted on the voyage. The four of us, in our mid twenties, returning from overseas tours and at the tag end of our service careers were seen as an unwanted problem to an army camp structured for the regimentation of new recruits. We were viewed as left over pieces of a jigsaw that wouldn’t fit and with only a few months to go before we were thrust out into the wide world it wasn’t worth the effort.
    Our home, we dubbed it The Hilton, was outside the army camp’s parameters on the edge of an old disused Second World War airfield, one of many scattered across the Suffolk countryside. What the old breeze block building had been initially used for we had no idea; it had the basic facilities of water and electricity and little else.
    The airfield buildings consisted of a couple of dilapidated hangers, an admin block and on the far side of the airfield some three quarters of a mile away stood what was left of a ruined control tower standing by itself further to the north.
    We had a reason for being there; in army parlance there had to be a reason for everything, it didn’t have to be relevant just so as it looked good on paper.
    So we were the airfields resident guard. What we were supposed to be guarding it from was never made clear. The only occupants were a flock of semi nomadic sheep which we decided posed no immediate threat to the safety of the realm or to the good citizens of Suffolk.
    After a few days of trekking back and forth to the army camp for our meals we came to an arrangement to draw our rations three times a week and feed ourselves. We only had the pot bellied stove for heat but we weren’t fussy as we wanted to be alone and left alone.

    The sun was setting around five thirty on that Thursday evening. Our funds were low so a trip to the Horse and Hounds was out of the question. Bored, with hands in pockets I wandered through the deserted rooms at the back of the building.
    A broken window banged repeatedly like a drummer who had lost the beat. The fading light through missing roof tiles fell on slimy walls and the smell of damp and mould was everywhere. The last room was larger than the rest with double doors that told me this was originally the main entrance. I walked over to an old desk that still stood in one corner. A notice board hung above with what looked like a torn poster stuck to it. I brushed off off the years of dirt and grime and grinned. A red haired girl in a green skin tight dress lent provocatively against a bar. Beware of VD it warned under which someone had scrawled ‘Don’t care if I do go blind’

    Back in what served us as a sleeping quarters and rest room I sat down and lit the last cigarette of the day.
    Chatwin was reading, a large man, heavy shouldered with an air of careless authority when he chose to use it. Crawford, thin, plagued with acme which had lasted past his teen years was writing yet another letter to his girl friend.
    Danny, a product of the East End slums, a small weasel faced cockney sometimes the comedian sometimes a pain in the xxxx was sitting on his bunk swinging his legs
    “I wonder if this old base was American or ours.” I asked.
    “Dunno” said Danny, could have been either.”
    “It was ours.” answered Chatwin, not looking up from his book.
    “How do you know?”
    Chatwin sighed and turned down the page corner.
    “I asked in the village, they flew Stirling’s and Lancaster's.”
    “I wonder if it’s haunted?" asked Danny?
    “What?”
    “Well some of these old airfields are, I read about it.”
    “Don’t be stupid.” I said.
    “No he’s right,” said Chatwin. “Actually there are many accounts of paranormal activities on these old airfields, including this one.”
    “You’re joking.”
    “No apparently---
    Crawford flung down his pen.
    “Will you shut up about bloody ghosts?”
    “Why, you scared?” grinned Danny.
    Chatwin reopened his
    “No he’s right, better leave it.”
    I wandered over to the window, in the fading twilight the old hangers were silhouetted black on the horizon. I shivered; something I had half noticed on the day patrol jumped into focus. The grass! Sheep do what sheep do, they crop grass but surrounding the Hangers the grass was two feet high because the sheep never went near them.

    Authors Note.
    A story in three parts, I'll post part two next week, hope you enjoy.
    I spent the lasts months of my army service in much the same location as in the start of the story.I'm a sceptic but these old buildings on disused airfields are not a place to hang around after dark. I have no intention of using expletives that would cause offence to anyone in what i write but the characters in this story are soldiers so if you want authenticity you will have to use your own imagination.

    John.

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