Pickle, Brick, and Nuts

L5’s voice crackled over the Phantom’s intercom, “Coming in a little steep.”

“Don’t get ’em in a bunch.” The engines’ roar nearly drowned out the jibe.

“It’s just a practice run, Magic.”

“It’s a milk run. We’ll nail it. Call it out.”

From the back, L5 checked the instruments, sighed, and began, “Weapons hot…3, 2, 1…pickle!” Nothing happened. The ground and target loomed closer.

Magic said nothing.

L5 repeated, “Pickle?”

Magic send nothing. The heavy fighter, nicknamed the flying brick for good reason, hurtled towards the bombing range floor.

L5 said firmly, “I said pickle.”

Magic said nothing. The angle didn’t change. Certain death loomed.

L5 chided, “We’re betting freaking quarters! Pull up!”

Magic said nothing. The altimeter spun down.

L5 muttered, “Damn it, target-locked, over freaking quarters,” and jerked back on the stick yanking control from his pilot and the plane out of its dive.

Through the strain of the G forces all Magic could manage to say was a hoarse, “My nuts!”

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