Captain Swanson was awakened from his sleep by a sound emanating from somewhere in his room. He sat up and looked about. A low, almost imperceptible creaking was coming from the darkened corner between the two tall windows. He strained his eyes trying to see beyond the moonlight that was streaming in through the westward facing fenêtre, which illuminated the large, overstuffed chair parked in front of it. From where his bed sat in the opposite corner of the apartment the chair, along with the eerie lunar glow, was preventing a full view of the murky corner. A midnight breeze was pushing the drapes of the north-facing window silently into the room, further hiding the space from which the noise came. Swany rubbed his eyes as he swung his legs out from under the blanket and stood up, continuing to look into the inky blackness between the open sashes. He was sure something was there, hiding. "Odd", he thought to himself about the moonlight, it had been raining the entire day before and there had been no prediction of it abating any time soon. Also odd was the fact that neither his head nor his leg was hurting a bit.
The creaking continued. It sounded almost as if someone where shifting about on a loose floorboard. A chill went up the young ace's spine as he took a step forward, fists clenched, eyes focused on the blackness. That's when he saw it - a figure. It moved, slowly, slowly, from out of the abyss - silent, save for the creaking. The specter inched past the breeze-swept drapes as they curled and slipped and slithered around it. After what seemed like an eternity the thing stepped full into the moonlight and stopped next to the chair. It was the Hun gunner from the Roland that Swany had sent down in flames two days ago. The man stood there, his flying kit charred and blackened, his face pallid and withered. And from behind the fractured glass of his flying goggles his eyes stared out, directly at Swany. Sad, inculpate, unblinking, dead eyes. He opened his mouth, as if to speak, but no words came out. Instead, inside, beyond the dust-dry, cracked lips and broken, ragged teeth, burned a fiery, hellish glow.
Captain Swanson sat bolt upright in his bed, his head throbbing as he did so. As he rubbed above his right ear with the palm of his hand he noticed the rain was still falling, just as it had done the entire day before. It pattered against the windows that flanked the far corner of the darkened room. Swany stared intently into that corner, seeing nothing but the small table and lamp that always stood there. After a while he lay back down and closed his eyes. "Poor sod", he whispered to himself. "He never stood a chance."