Capt. John Davis and Bombardier Lt. Carl Thompson are walking passed their bird to meet the rest of the boys for a few beers. Both can faintly hear music and laughter of men spilling from a tent near the end of the runway. Davis looks back into the setting sun, listens to the big radial engines still ticking from an earlier test flight. The distinct smell of burnt oil still lingers in the air.
“God I love that smell” he thinks to himself.
He gazes down upon the puddles of oil underneath the port and starboard engines.
“Hey, does it look like engine one is leaking more than usual?” John asks, turning to Carl who had his half smoked cigarette in the corner of his mouth.
“It’s been leaking more since Frankfurt”, Carl replies.
“Frankfurt? Yeah, I think you’re right”. Davis can still hear the screams of the waistgunner, when the shrapnel tore through the entire port side.
“Poor Sammy, he never had a chance”, Davis says.
Carl didn’t reply, just walked quietly next to John, the setting sun throwing long shadows onto the tarmac, making them both look like giants.
Both men knew that tonight they indeed feel larger than life, because there is no mission tonight.