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Key Polish Character in “Ghosts of the Empire”, Sequel to “Nor the Years Condemn” by Justin Sheedy

6 March 2012

Ghosts of the EmpireHis name was Feliks Brozek.

He looked like a wrestler except in miniature, his eyes, his whole face set in a perpetual squint.  He was a Flight Lieutenant, though had been ‘demoted’, it seemed, some time back – all the way down to Sergeant, evidently, from where he’d worked his way back up.  Although required to by air force law, Mick observed that none of the ground staff addressed him as ‘sir’ and that they liked him.  Also that Brozek called no one ‘sir’ either.  As they kitted up for their second flight together, Mick assumed he had nothing much further to lose by asking it…

‘So why’d they demote you?’

Ghosts Back Cover‘Which time?’ replied Brozek, adjusting a buckle on his flying jacket.  He shrugged within it.  ‘In 1940 I was having to fly with a squadron whose leader was very good pilot but with battle tactics out of the bluddy book.  Close ‘vic’ formations of three, you know?  This was all the time forcing pilots to look inwards at each other, not out for the enemy.  So too often were our pilots never seeing the enemy which killed them, because their leader desired this so elegant formation.  I told the fellow to stop it.  He would not.  So I break his nose.  They would put me in jail for this but they need me to kill Germans so I go from Pilot Officer down to Sergeant – I don’ bluddy care; I was still fighting…’

Mick zipped up his own flying jacket.  ‘So what happened to the bloke?’

‘He goes to hospital, we get replacement Squadron Leader, this fellow listens to me, we get new tactics, fellows fly looser, live longer.’

‘Well done,’ offered Mick, fitting into his Mae West vest with the usual difficulty over the bulk of his leather jacket.

Nor the Years Condemn by Justin Sheedy

Nor the Years Condemn by Justin Sheedy

‘Is just bluddy commonsense.  Then after end of Battle, I am back up to Flying Officer but is winter, bad weather, so no Germans for a while.  One day some come over airfield above low cloud, I request to take off and get the bluddy bastards.  New CO says no but I take Kaminsky, we go up anyway and shoot them down.  The CO wants I should be a Sergeant again but this would mean I must give back my DFC as only officers can have this.  But this would mean insult to your King – who gave it to me – so I have to be just Pilot Officer again.’  The Pole pulled on his leather flying helmet, face mask dangling to one side of it.  ‘This was the problem with some English back in the early days…  Some were very good pilots and some very nice fellows too.  But even some of the so very good ones they played by the rules, as you say.  They were defending their country.  Mine I had already lost.  I was killing Germans.  This is what I still am doing.’  He plugged the tip of his oxygen cord into the face mask.  ‘When none are left perhaps I can have back my country.’  He toyed with the fastening ring on the end of the cord, muttering as he did, ‘Who was instructor for you at OTU?’

For all the world, the cord, dark blue with gold stitching along its length, looked to Mick like a snake around the Pole’s neck.  ‘A Squadron Leader Blythe.’

Brozek looked up.  ‘…Max Blythe?’

Mick nodded.

Brozek’s eyes opened almost fully.  ‘I know this man.  He is decent fellow; I would drink with him.’  He breathed on a lens of his flying googles.  ‘He taught you shoot them between eyes?’

‘No.  In the back.’

‘Is correct.  Perhaps you last five minutes then.  Listen to Feliks, perhaps you last ten.’

GHOSTS OF THE EMPIRE by Justin Sheedy now available at Dymocks bookstores and at Amazon in paperback & Kindle formats.

Author Justin Sheedy

Author Justin Sheedy

NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN by Justin Sheedy now available in paperback & Kindle formats at AMAZON.  With Rave Reviews!  Also at DYMOCKS bookstores.

AND NOW AT GLEEBOOKS, BERKELOUW BOOKS PADDINGTON & THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL!

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