About the Author
A four book series called Persistence Of Memory: Book IV W.I.S.E Men
Karen Janowsky has loved superheroes and ancient mythology since the first time she saw the Super Friends on television in 1970’s. Because flying an invisible jet was never a viable career option, and because running around in a cape, swimsuit, and bright red boots is not socially acceptable for adults, she teaches yoga and writing at the College of Southern Maryland. Her stories and poems have been featured in several anthologies and literary magazines since 1991. She received her master’s degree in English with a focus in creative writing from Florida State University
A four book Series: Persistence of Memory: Book IV W.I.S.E. Men
October 1993, Mogadishu, Somalia
Kevin Rye watched, helpless and horrified, as the missile sped toward his helicopter. It happened fast, even though it felt like the excruciating ordeal drew itself out in slow motion. The missile slammed into its target, and the aircraft bounced hard and tilted. Kevin’s restraint popped open, and suddenly, no one was in their seat anymore. The interior turned gray as the helicopter began to disintegrate. Hot air whooshed over him and burned his face and hands.
Fire roared through the cabin. He inhaled, choking on the acrid, almost overwhelming smell of fuel before he noticed he was being sprayed by it. Kevin couldn’t see the other men, and the cabin whirled upside-down as it separated from the tail. He plummeted while whole chunks of the helicopter shot in all directions.
He couldn’t have cried out if he’d wanted to; his lungs seemed to deflate, and his chest was heavy. He was sure he was dropping faster than he felt like he was. Several meters away, Simmons, his brown skin clearly visible through the smoke and blue sky, plunged as well. Above, the sky had ignited. A cloud of black smoke expanded above him. When the fireball dropped, he would burn alive. He was surprised at the detachment of his thoughts. He was about to be either a fleshy, ripped-apart bag of shattered bones, or a seared husk. Below him, a cloud was burning, and he bore down on it; above him, the gigantic ball of flame expanded. He was covered in fuel. This was it.
He always figured his last thoughts would be of Tricia or his mother but all he could think was that Rob was right, R.O.T.C. was a crap deal for college. He was about to die. Fuck Rob. He closed his eyes and the world went black.
Kevin opened his eyes. He was belly-down and draped over something soft. He inhaled a mouthful of dirt, which stung as it went down his windpipe and scraped as he coughed it up. This shouldn’t have happened. He shouldn’t have survived. He should be a mangled mess of human flesh and bone. His head dangled an inch or so above the ground, and he couldn’t feel his legs. The world blurred and spun. Kevin wiggled his fingers and felt around. How broken was he? Maybe he hadn’t survived, after all. This was an impossible angle. He patted himself until he touched his belt, found the radio, and tugged at it.