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Five Women in Black

Five Women in Black by BF Oswald
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After a memorial service to celebrate the life of Professor Robert Osbourn, whose death is shrouded in mystery, Rea Parker is introduced to the three women he married and his two daughters; five women wearing the black of mourning, but not all carrying the same weight of grief. In her quest to write an accurate biography of Dr. Osbourn, Rea interviews these women and finds out some very troubling aspects of his life. During her investigation, she becomes a possible accessory to murder, loses two men she had no intention of loving, and unexpectedly rediscovers one of them.
SynergEbooks; June 2010
182 pages; ISBN 9780744318210
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Five Women in Black
Author: BF Oswald

The plane was within 200 feet of the ground when the copilot turned on the landing lights. The twin beams probed the darkness below illuminating a swath of green as they were reflected by the treetops. He dropped the right wing slightly and scanned the small patch of light below. Green suddenly gave way to rippling blackness as the plane passed over the shoreline of Mallard Lake.

The copilot let another few feet of altitude slip away as he flew parallel to the east shore. The turbulence was increasing and he checked the location of the approaching storm, trying to estimate when it would engulf the plane.

As quickly as it had appeared the blackness of the water gave way to a tangle of green as the plane passed over the north shore. The copilot banked the small craft sharply to the left bringing it around 180 degrees at the same time dropping down to within 100 feet of the choppy surface.

The sky above him was darkening rapidly as he flew south down the middle of the lake, landing lights now off, his eyes searching the darkness. He was checking the altimeter and almost missed seeing the three brief flashes of light coming from the water to his right. He flashed his landing lights in response to the signal; then he throttled back and lowered the wing and tail flaps. The small plane began to rapidly lose altitude.

The copilot turned on his landing lights again and this time he could clearly see the water. The rising wind began pushing the plane to the left at almost the same speed that it was moving forward. With muscles taut he wrestled with the controls trying to maintain his course. The landing lights reflected off of the lapping waves that seemed to be reaching for the belly of the plane. Ahead he could see the outline of the shore with its dark wall of towering trees.

He tightened his grip on the wheel with his left hand while he quickly unsnapped his safety harness with his right. When he was free of the straps he pulled back on the wheel with both hands bringing the nose of the plane above the horizon. It seemed to stop in mid-air, if only for a second, then the engine stalled, the nose dropped, and the small plane glided rapidly toward the water.

At the moment the plane stalled the copilot opened his door and threw himself out into the darkness. Drawing himself into a tight ball, he plummeted toward the lake. The impact knocked the wind from him and he experienced a brief moment of panic as he felt the cold water close over his head. With determination, he uncoiled his body and bit into the water with his hands and arms pulling himself upward. His life vest inflated and forced his head above the surface; immediately he began sucking in huge lungs-full of cold night air.

He heard the plane hit the water and quickly turned his head toward the sound. He saw the outline of the plane as it skipped across the water like a smooth stone. There was a flash of lightning at the same time the plane reached the shore and he watched the small craft being dismantled as it cut a swath through the trees at the water’s edge. Suddenly there was a large orange fireball where the plane had been. A thunderclap drowned out the noise of the explosion.

The copilot watched as several small fires broke out to the right and left of the point of impact. The sound of an approaching boat caused him to turn around and he saw a light bearing down on him from the north. Within moments he was in the cabin of a small launch wrapping himself in a blanket.

The old man at the helm glanced at his passenger and asked, “You OK?”

The copilot managed a weak smile as he replied, “Sore, but in one piece. No broken bones, I guess.” Then he added, “I wouldn’t want to do this for a living!”

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