Help from Beyond: A Tale of the Supernatural
The descendant of a certain flying ace from the Great War receives help from beyond, while the Spectre sees an old soul go to his final reward.
“Jonathan Hammerly, would you please, please pay attention?” a young flight instructor asked. She was trying to get the attention of her student, an all-around daydreamer who also happened to be her friend since childhood and her current boyfriend.
“Sorry, I’m just anxious, Pepper,” John said, blushing slightly. “This is gonna be my first time up without you or your dad as the co-pilot.”
“Yeah, but I’m the one going up with you, and I really don’t want to die today,” Pepper replied. John nodded as Pepper continued teaching.
Sometime later, they were in the air.
“OK, you know what to do, right?” Pepper asked from behind John.
“Yeah, I got everything up here in my head,” John said, pointing to his cranium.
“Good,” Pepper said. She added in a whisper, “At least you’ve got something up there.”
For the first thirty minutes of their pleasant jaunt, it was smooth and clear sailing, so to speak. But a storm churned up from out of nowhere.
“I’m going to have to take over for now. This storm looks bad,” Pepper said, unbuckling from her seat and getting up. Unfortunately, a gust of wind caused the plane to make a complete barrel roll, causing Pepper to hit her head.
“Pepper? Are you all right?” John asked his girlfriend, who was prone and unconscious on the floor.
“She is fine. Do not worry.” The voice was masculine and heavily accented in German.
“What the–?!” John said, turning to the co-pilot’s chair. There sat a man perhaps in his late thirties or early forties in a long wool coat and yellow scarf. On his lap was an aviator’s leather helmet with a pair of goggles attached to it.
“Eyes focused on the sky, not on me,” the German replied. “You are my kin; as such, I will not let you crash.”
“Oh, boy. I’m about to die, and I went off the deep end before doing so,” John said.
“Quiet! Listen to me, and do as I say. We need to get out of this storm. Grab the controls and roll us to the left by forty-five degrees,” the man told John, who did so.
“Right; now what?” John asked, deciding to go with the flow.
“Now pull up on the stick. Be gentle, be gentle!” the man ordered, calm urgency in his voice.
“Yeah, yeah, sure, sure,” John said.
“Good. Remain calm. Do not focus on the storm, but instead focus on my voice and my instructions,” the German said.
John continued to follow the man’s orders, and eventually he managed to land the plane.
“Thank y — where’d he go?” John said, getting out of his seat. “OK, John, that was only the adrenaline, nothing else. Now let’s go help Pepper.” When he got out of the plane, carrying Pepper, he failed to notice two spectral figures.
“Did I do the right thing, Herr Corrigan?” the man asked his companion.
“You protected your family. You did something out of love and compassion for someone else,” the Spectre replied.
“True, but I have changed his destiny forever,” the German said.
“Are you sure that is such a bad thing? If he continues the way he will, he shall be a champion of the oppressed,” the Spectre commented.
“Yes, that would be good. A bright future, then, indeed,” the German said. The Spectre opened a portal to Heaven as he nodded in agreement.
“Come, now, Hans von Hammer. The future Hammer of Hell knows all he needs to know,” the Spectre said, leading the World War I German fighter pilot into the portal.