I cut my teeth writing on Hubpages back in 2009. I've written 17 novels, numerous songs, and short stories since. I love to write love.
Dreaming of Flying
It was Sunday, February 28th, 1939. 9-year-old Jake Franklin Louvens was in trouble for pushing his 6-year-old little sister, Emma Fay in a big mud puddle, making her cry. His momma, Louise, made him sit by the table and told him to think about what he did and that he should take care of those littler than him. Jake sat there on the floor with a small plaque of the Ten Commandments hanging above his head.
Jakes's daddy, David had taken Emma Fay to town to get tobacco for his pipe and her some candy after she had a bath and changed clothes. Emma Fay was sitting in a chair across from Jake, grinning and slowly biting off and chewing taffy...occasionally sticking her tongue out at her older brother. Jake was angry but soon jumped into his amazing imagination and daydreamed about being a pilot.
As Louise prepared supper, David smoked his pipe and read the Hendersonville newspaper. David spoke with his pipe in his mouth, "That Hitler guy in Germany is gonna be trouble. Mark my words. He strikes me as one of those evil Emperors or maybe a man who thinks he's better than any other man." Louise was pouring and stirring flour in the gravy as she said, "That silly mustache of his...is, darn it, Jake hand me the salt. I always forget to grab it off the table...Jake, Jake!"
Jake snapped out of his shooting down enemy planes dream, looked at her, and said, "You said I got to sit here till dark." David looked over his paper at Jake and grumbled, "Jake, hand your mother the salt." Jake stood up, grabbed the saltbox, and handed it to Louise. Emma May snapped as she chewed, "Shit back down Jake. You got in trouble." David and Louise looked at her as Louise snapped, "Emma Fay, do not talk with your mouth full."
David grinned and said, "Sit back down Jake and Emma, just eat your candy." Louise said to David, "You should have made her wait till after supper." Jake grinned and said, "She don't like gravy no how. Can I have her portion?" Louise looked at him and said, "No." She looked at Emma Fay and said, "No more bites of that taffy. You can finish it after supper."
Jake sat back down on the floor by the table and reentered his dream. Part of the tent they were living in ripped loose from a gust of wind and blew out the gas cook stove fire. David hurried and pinched it together with clothespins as Louise lit the stove. She said, "I can't wait till the house is done and we can move out of this tent." David said, "I know. It has been tough. As soon as I get the roof done, and two more walls built, in a few days we will get out of this thing."
David, Louise Jake, and Emma Fay sat at their table, said the blessing, and had gravy and pork chops for supper. Jake asked if he had to sit back on the floor again. Louise smiled and said, "You take care of those littler than you. Don't hurt them. Remember that son." She allowed him to go out and play much to Emma Fay's dismay.
The F-86 Fighter Jet
The Korean War
13 years later Jake Franklin Louvens found himself sitting in the cockpit of an F-86 Sabre fighter jet. Jake had only been in the Korean War for three months and had taken down four enemy planes. He was an ace at maneuvering the craft and using the M3 Browning machine guns. He was flying over enemy territory that February day on a bombing run. Jake smiled as he thought of his parents and little sister. He carried a lock of Louise's curled red hair in a gold coin locket she'd given him when he left Tennessee. He thought about his daydreaming as a 9-year-old boy and his mischievous deeds of those days. Jake looked down and saw a river and was approaching the mountains.
The Commanding Captain pilot flying to his left spoke over the radio, "Jake, the village you can see to the northeast is our target. Drop all you got when I say the word." Jake radioed back, "Village? When in hell did the enemy start building military villages?" The Captain ordered, "No questions Lieutenant. The village is our target. Big Brass pinned it on the map." Jake radioed, "I'm flying over and coming back around." The Captain growled over the radio, "You do and I will have your ass court-martialed! You will drop those damn bombs!"
Jake ignored him, dropped out of formation, and flew lower toward the village. He could see people in the fields around the village and he saw children looking up at his airplane from the dirt and stone streets. He saw mothers and fathers running to gather the children to take them to shelter. He radioed the Captain as he turned the plane, "I'm not bombing kids!" The Captain screamed over the radio, "This is war boy! There is a hidden enemy down there boy!" Lieutenant Robbins flying on Jake's right side radioed, "Kids?" Suddenly Jake saw a wing rip from the Captain's plane.
Three Russian MIG-15s appeared over a mountain ridge. Jake looked to his upper right and saw his other bombing partner, Lieutenant Robbins take a hit and burst into flames. Jake immediately dropped his bombs in the river and went into fighter mode. His plane had recently been armed with 20 MM cannons. Jake dove down through the river gorge and then swung up to the left to get behind one of the MIGs. He had to sway because he could feel and hear a few bullets hitting his plane. He managed to shoot the MIG down he was following. More bullets ripped across his left side wing. He pulled the plane straight up and banked it left quickly. He maneuvered behind another MIG and shot it down.
Home on His Mind
The third MIG flew away. Jake flew back over the area where the Captain went down and saw the plane burning. Neither the Captain nor Lieutenant Robbins survived. Tears filled his eyes as he reached inside his jacket and felt the locket his mother gave him. He could smell fuel. Lieutenant Jake Franklin Louvens barely made it back to base and landed cockeyed, nearly crashing because the end of his left wing was partially gone.
He didn't mention that he disobeyed the Captain's orders to the Colonel who questioned him about the special mission. He simply told the Colonel that the group was intercepted by MIGs and he had to drop his bombs to fight. Jake served until the end of the war and was only in one more combat fight in which he shot down two MIGS. He left the Military when the war was over and never flew again. He went back home to Hendersonville.
That summer morning, a Taxi let him out at the end of the lane to his parent's house. David Louvens was at work and Emma Fay was at school. Louise was sitting on the porch stringing and snapping green beans. She saw him walking up the lane with his duffel bag on his shoulder. She jumped up, spilling her bowl of broke beans, cried out his name, and ran to him. Jake dropped his duffel bag and opened his arms. They embraced and cried.
Jake picked his duffel bag back up, put his arm around Louise, and walked up the lane with her. She asked him questions about Korea. When they got to the porch, he laid his duffel bag down by the steps, hugged Louise again, and softly said, "The war was awful momma. I killed many men. I don't want to fly anymore. I didn't hurt little ones. I held your locket momma. I didn't hurt little ones."
A video of the F-86 Sabre Fighter Jets of the Korean War.
© 2022 Tom Cornett