Lester sat reading his daily devotional with a steaming mug of black chicory-laced coffee. He heard what sounded like a tree falling across his barn but he knew there was no tree near enough to do that. By the time those thoughts had cleared, he stood in the farm yard looking at the tail end of an airplane protruding from his barn.
Lester hobbled over to the barn door and heaved a side open. The front of the plane was smashed to bloody smithereens smack on his tractor. Would it explode? “Hey, is anybody still breathing in there?” The splintered wood showed at all the broken edges; the darned thing was made of sycamore wood or such.
When his brain reminded him that planes didn’t burn fuel anymore, he stepped closer to the tractor and peered about for some glimpse into the mess. He shook his head slowly and thought he should call somebody. Nearly to the barn door, he addressed the unfortunates in the crushed cockpit.
“Lord Almighty, send your angels to carry these needy souls to Glory, please gather them to your bosom. You know their hearts…”
The sound of wheels on gravel coming closer fast grabbed his attention. A black jeepy-like thing tore up his driveway and skidded to a stop, making obvious ruts in the rain-softened ground. With his tractor out of commission, that careless damage would be hard for him to smooth out.
A tall black woman in a black suit got out and walked up to him. “Sir, I am Agent Latosha Barnes of the FBI.” As she pocketed her ID, she gravely added, “You must return to your house and contact no one. We will have a crew here soon to remove this.”
“I need my barn and my tractor. Are you gonna leave me my tractor and fix that barn roof?”
“You must return to your house and contact no one. We will have a crew here soon to remove this.”
He rocked gently on his front porch, watching people in white paper jumpsuits go back and forth with all sorts of equipment. After another hour he went inside and got a pitcher of iced tea and all six of his tea glasses. Being told to keep clear of them, he placed the pitcher and five of the glasses on the porch rail in plain sight. They paid no mind to the offered drinks.
A flatbed truck arrived, scattering his chickens as it backed up near the barn. Soon, a helicopter came to slip a loop around the tail of the plane. Lester figured they’d break the tail clean off, but they didn’t. Meanwhile, others erected barriers around the barn. He’d figured that correctly.
He made his way to the side of the flatbed and saw Agent Barnes making a bee-line his way.
“Sir, do not break the barrier. We have surveillance in place. Do not attempt to tamper with it.”
He nodded and turned around to watch them flip the wings up and secure the tips together for transit. “Lord, you know their hearts. Have mercy on their souls. Amen.”