Night Stalking

An Excerpt from The Night Stalkers by Micheal J. Durrant and Steven Hartov.

“IN THE DEEPEST DARKNESS, at some hour between midnight and dawn, you believe you hear them coming. At first it is merely a pulse, a disturbance in the ether, and as your ears pick up and you tilt your head to listen, a gust of wind obscures it, and for a moment you return to illusion.

You are safe.

They could not possibly reach you here, so far away, so high, so hidden.

They may want your life for the things you have done in the name of your cause, but it will not happen here in this impregnable place.

Your heart rate slows again. You smile thinly at your own fears. You nod slowly, and then you suddenly freeze as the sound returns.

It is unmistakable now.

Helicopters.

Long before they are upon you, which will happen very swiftly now, you see them in your mind’s eye. Their black armored bodies gleam beneath the starlight, their engines thunder, their sharp blades dice the cloudes to ribbons. Behind their soulless eyes you can see their pilots, their hard-set jaws, centurion-like helmets and the glowing tubes of their mechanical eyes. From the gills of those charging sharks, charcoal-colored gun barrels bristle. From their open flanks, the boots of many warriors whip in the wind. Their weapons gleam.

You can barely breathe now. Nothing you do to deter them will matter. They will still come. You can flee, but they will find you. They own the night….”

In top trumps terms, the words ‘I am night flying x number of nights this week’ are the most annoying. This is because night flying means that Hagar has to stay up late, mainly watching Sons of Anarchy or surfing the internet, he gets to lie-in, and then leave later in the day the next day and then come home after the kids have gone to bed. This is all in the name of crew-rest and it’s hard pill to swallow. What about wife rest? I could do with a bit of night flying.

(Now, I also happen to know that many soldiers just don’t get crew-rest either, obviously it would be a different matter, if they were to crash and the were outside of the mandatory crew-rest flying perameters. The regulations are something like, typically, it’s 12 hour duty days for rotary wing and 14 hour duty days for fixed wing with 8-10 hour rest periods in between.)

The night flying has begun. Me and the kids are learning how to hang without Hagar. We are gradually learning one day at a time how to be separated again.

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16 thoughts on “Night Stalking

  1. I loved the writing you opened with. I could feel myself sitting there, on the side of a mountain, hidden in the brush, waiting, not believing they were coming and then the heart freezing moment that you know they are coming to get you. Brilliant.

    I love the idea of wife rest! We should definitely get some of that! to be honest, even 12 on, 8 off sounds pretty damn amazing!

  2. Wow! Brilliant writing! Really emotive! I love the chinooks – think they are so powerful but safe. You’ve given me another way of looking at them!

  3. This is tough. I admire your strength and courage to endure such a test of patience and understanding.

    I would be screaming like a shrill referee within a couple of hours.

    Oh, hang on. I already do that.

    LCM x

    • Thank you kindly – buckle up and enjoy the ride this is the 1st few days of the next 2.5 years. This is the easy stuff. Just wait until he goes to Afg! – everything will go to rat shit – it always does. Hey hum.

  4. Dear Triple-M:

    I was really pleased, and honored, to find the opening text of our book posted on your site. God bless all of you; we all know that you do so much more than just “wait.” No one could fly those machines without you.

    Steve

    • And Mr H, I am honoured that you found my little blog and took the time to comment. Thank you for popping by. Hagar flies the UK CH47. The reason that I know the paragraph is because it is framed in my loo because Hagar loves it so much he thinks it perfectly describes his and his squadron’s own work. Thank you for your kind words. I keep telling him a monkey could fly them, it’s just matter of training and that really it’s all about me but he’s not so convinced 😉 I shall be dropping you a wee little email so watch your inbox!

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