Friday, September 23, 2011

On a Wing and a Prayer (Cont'd)

When my eyes were beginning to open I could see many faces looking down at me. I couldn’t make them out clearly at first. But when they came into focus I started to recognize them, they were from my own department, and from a virtual alphabet of agencies such as the TSA, FBI, FAA, and even the NTSB. They were all staring at me. Then one of them asked me if I was o.k. I said that I was. They said that the paramedics needed to look at me and bring me to the Emergency Room. I said that wasn’t necessary. I heard someone say, “He’s awake” and someone else say “Let’s get him to the hospital”. After hearing that I got up but people were saying that I shouldn’t move. I then said in a gruff and serious voice, “I am fine and I am getting up” and I did so. Then almost everybody around me realized that I was o.k. “What is going on with the investigation” I asked no one in particular. The CSI people were still on the scene. Hopefully they would be able to pull up some latent prints. At that moment my cell-phone chimed, it was a text message. It was from my ex-wife. She said some rather hurtful things which coming from her didn’t surprise me at all. That marriage of 22-years was a total waste of time. The sex wasn’t even good, when it existed at all. But I digress; I need to focus on this apparent serial killer.

Nearly on the other side of the airport a man was standing, smoking his cigarette and holding his coffee. His name was Rich Morton. He was on a break, Stanley Pearson or Stan; his Supervisor thinks he takes too many breaks. Stan was always on his case about his breaks, but Rich would reply, “Hey what about Frank, he is always on the computer, saying that he doing work related searches but was always trying to find more porn?” Stan would ignore that. Rich stopped thinking about Stan or Frank because he knew it would just put him in a bad mood. Rich looked around, he saw another employee walking over towards him. He had never seen him before. The man stopped and introduced himself as Bill. As he did so he reached out with his hand to offer a handshake. Rich offered his hand also and he did a firm handshake with Bill. He noticed Bill’s handshake was firm; Rich did not like weak handshakes. Rich also noticed that Bill’s palm and fingers were smooth and soft, not rough like very other Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic he had ever known. Or any mechanic for that matter. Rich also noticed that Bill was not wearing an ID Badge. So he said, “Are you new Bill?” Bill answered that he just started the day before. Rich told him he should have his ID Badge on or he could get into trouble with Management or Airport Security. Then Rich started thinking about what Bill said about starting yesterday. Rich was under the impression from Management here at Advance Maintenance Systems (AMS) a small FBO (Fixed Base Operator) here at the Airport that business was slow and there was a hiring freeze. Rich would make a point of asking Stan his Supervisor about this. Rich then thought he had better get back to work or at least look like he was working before he got in trouble (again). As Rich was walking back to the Cessna Citation that he had been working on he noticed Stan his Supervisor over near the wall of the hangar. Rich started walking towards him and as he did so he asked Stan in a moderately loud voice, “Hey Stan since when did we start hiring again?” Stan looked up, he saw that it was Rich asking the question his face took on that disgusted look that really pissed Rich off. Stan said “We haven’t started hiring again, what are you talking about?” Rich pointed in the direction of Bill, and said in an even louder voice “What about him?” Bill heard this, looked at Stan, then back at Rich, the he bolted out of the hangar faster than either Rich or Stan had ever seen anyone run. Rich said, “Who was that guy?” Stan said, “I don’t know”. Rich said that the man named “Bill” was wearing coveralls with the “AMS” company patch on it but he didn’t have an ID Badge. Just then, Jim Delgado, an employee that everyone knew came stumbling out of one of storage lockers wearing just a t-shirt, underwear and socks. He looked dazed and confused. He mumbled that someone had hit him over the head and that someone had also taken his coveralls. Everybody then realized that someone was obviously this “Bill” person. Rich then knew why this “Bill” didn’t have an ID Badge, he took Jim Delgado’s coveralls but not his ID Badge because he doesn’t even vaguely resemble Jim Delgado. Stan got on the phone and called Airport Security. Within minutes there were all kinds of security vehicles and police cars with sirens wailing and lights flashing on the scene. Detective Jack Donaldson was the first one out of his vehicle and he quickly approached Stanley Pearson. He then said, “Which way did the guy go?” Stan said that the guy known as “Bill” took off towards the Airport’s perimeter fence. Jack hoped that the security cameras that were mounted on those fences would provide a picture of this “Bill” person.


  1. Hey John, I just linked over from your profile page on WD. I'm enjoying your story, On a Wing and a Prayer. You paint a nice mental picture of the airport scenes. Give us more!


  2. John,

    I have been reading everything for a week or so but havent commented yet. I like it. I like your attention to detail and your ability to describe a setting. That is a skill that I lack.

    I might suggest that you break up the long paragraphs. It can get quite difficult to read a long paragraph. I have found it is much easier to read it when it is broken up into smaller sections or sentences.

    Nice job on everything.