By: Kelbie Biron
Leaving Miami was uneventful, the sun shone like a golden disc in an azure sky. Clouds did not deface that beautiful scene in Florida. It was not until the plane and its passengers were soaring high over the Caribbean that the weather worsened. The wind jostled the plane causing turbulence.
Olivia heard the characteristic “ding” accompanying the seat belt sign light up to warn the passengers that they were not allowed to move about the plane. Not many of the others noticed. They were mostly absorbed in their electronics or novels like Lucy.
Max sat still with his eyes shut, his knuckles as white as ivory as he gripped the armrests. Kalmia sat next to him trying to give him tips on how to handle the fear of flying. Max remained as if he could not hear the words she spewed forth.
“Why don’t you try visualizing you’re in your happy place. It might calm you,” Kalmia said.
“Let’s see for example my happy place is the country club we’re members of. They have this delightful little library with a pianist that plays classical and contemporary music,” Kalmia said while she fiddled with the hem of her shirt.’”
“Oh, and there are always fresh flowers in the vase’s too that they decorate the room with, it is just utterly delightful in there.” Kalmia said.
“So, what is your happy place?” Kalmia asked.
“Right now, anywhere you are not.” Max sputtered with a poisonous tone.
“Okay, Mr. Grumpy Pants.” Kalmia said. “I am sensing a little negativity. I definitely feel it is not directed entirely towards me. It’s just because you have a fear of flying.”
“No, this negativity is entirely directed at you. Your voice is like nails on a chalkboard, and your cheerfulness makes me want to jump out this plane.” Max said.
Outside, the dark clouds intermittently electrified and danced like shadows in the night. The plane shook some more and loud clang pierced the air. Everyone gasped as they came out of their own little world to discover what the problem was. “Don’t not worry. Everything’s-under c-control. Jus-st s-stay seated.” Fienberg said over the loudspeaker.
In the cockpit Fienberg assessed the problems that were surmounting. The loud clang reverberated through the cockpit and Fienberg knew that the flaps had been torn away from the wings because of the strong winds.
With Fienberg left to his own thoughts frustrations and ideas reeled through his mind. I didn’t want this piece of junk. Thought Fienberg. I told Delanson this plane was too old. But no he wouldn’t give me one of the bigger planes. Instead he gives me the little puddle jumper. I told him to postpone the trip because of the tropical storm that was forming, but no couldn’t do that. That would cost him money and that was all dimwit Delanson cared about. He didn’t have to fly in the storm, so why should it matter to him. The only thing that is holding this piece of crap together is sheer luck and even that looks like it’ll run out anytime now, thought Fienberg.
Fienberg takes another swig of vodka to calm his fraying nerves. He could hear the panicked whispers from the teenagers. He pitied them mostly, he knew how this might end and it wasn’t good.
This time a bang tore through the night followed by a flame dancing in the howling wind. Fienberg realized the rudder was gone, as was the right engine. He quickly cut the other engine in an attempt to balance the plane and work the horizontal stabilizer and the elevator to keep the plane as level as possible, but either way, the plane was going down. Fienberg’s hand shook as he grappled for his wife’s picture that was in his pocket to see her face once more.
The whole plane began to tilt to the right and then balance out. They lost altitude rapidly as they plummeted towards the once crisp blue ocean that is now gray abyss.
Kalmia grasped Max’s hand. His worst nightmare became reality. In a matter of seconds, the plane crashed onto the hard ground. A scraping sound emanated from underneath the plane along with the thwapping of objects the plane was incessantly colliding with. Moans echoed through the cabin.
The moans faded as an eerie silence came over them while the reality of the situation sunk in.
Max looked about him at the chaos that enveloped him and his friends. He looked for Kalmia’s hand but found it laying lifeless on the floor. Her seat belt had given out, she had crashed head first into the seat in front of her. Max checked to see if she was still breathing. She was but faintly, blood seeped out of a wound on her forehead. Some of the blood had gotten on his pants, a drop of crimson fell upon his lap, and he realized the blood was his. He felt his face, there was a slight gash on his check. It was too much, the blood, the storm that still raged outside; blackness began to shroud his vision and he slumped into submission as the chaos continued to wreak its havoc.
Artist: Aryn B. M. Clark