It was time!

Paula, whipped out her lucky red ribbon, as she and Rita raced towards their fighter jets.

Within moments they were airborne.

Rita fell in behind Paula- scanning her radar.

All too soon, she picked up a menacing red dot.

With practised ease, she banked sharply to the left – Paula, to the right.

Too late!

In one fluid motion, Rita ejected and was thrown clear of her aircraft.

As her body twisted in the air, a sudden wall of flames hit her in the face- setting her chute on fire.

Everything went black.

She awoke wedged between the branches of a tree.

“Paula?” she croaked.


Floating nearby, on a single branch, was a red ribbon.

Before she passed out again, Rita murmured the lines from her favourite poem;

“These memories were left here with the trees”

Her eyes closed.

©Vivian Zems (144 words)

Dverse Poets Pub- Prosery

“These memories were left here with the trees”- from the poem “How to Write a Poem in a Time of War.” Jo Harjo