Liberator was published in #35 of All Hallows , the journal of the Ghost Story Society. To read Liberator click here for a PDF or here for html.
Thomas Armitage crash-lands his Liberator after an anti-submarine patrol in late 1944. Local villagers fight the resulting fire, and as Armitage blacks out the girl who finds him is screaming... but when he wakes again the fire is out and he is utterly alone under a starry sky. Except, that is, for the mysterious woman he glimpses peering from the blank windows of the vicarage...
The story idea came from the fact that my father (left and below; click for larger pics) flew Liberators for 547 Squadron, Coastal Command, and lived through WWII when so many others did not. One 547 Liberator crashed into a hillside and 7 crew were killed, another (aircraft E, which my father had flown a few times) was shot down by a U-boat 3 days before VE Day - snuffing out 60 years of potential life for each man in an instant. But my father survived the war to meet a wife and have me and fly jet airliners in the Middle East and see the internet and watch men land on the moon on live TV. He died in the 21st century, months after this story - which he read - was published. From thin threads do all our lives dangle.
"Liberator" is also the title song of my brother John's first CD.