No... this has nothing to do with the contents of my wardrobe. Just a collection of some short stories that I will be writing when I should be doing something more constructive!
Anyway, hope you'll enjoy them and leave me your comments!
“Final call for passengers on Cathay Pacific flight CX 881 to Paris and Hong Kong, please make your way to Gate number 32B with your passport and boarding card. Final call for CX881 to Paris and Hong Kong.”
Dragging his hand baggage behind him and panting as he waves his ticket and passport in the air, Michael is struggling with the three foot Snoopy he has tucked loosely in his armpit.
“Wait for me, I am here.” He calls out to the airport ground staff, who are watching him from the exit to the gate.
“You are the last to board, Sir! May I have your passport and boarding card please?” says one of the ladies politely. He passes them to her and she quickly ushers him through the door and down the ramp into the aircraft.
“Sorry… excuse me … sorry… sorry… “
Snoopy’s arms and legs bash into the unfortunate aisle passengers and a few pairs of glasses and a wig are knocked out of place by the soft plush toy.
“Ah, 34C – this is my seat.”
“Would you like some help with your luggage there, sir?”
An amused flight attendant offers her assistance in stuffing Snoopy into the baggage compartment head first, followed by Michael’s small case.
“Thank you!” says Michael as he turns to his seat.
“You’re welcome, please be seated as we are about to depart.”
The crewmember replies before returning to her pre-flight duties.
Michael sits down in his seat that is on the side of the aisle, after picking up the cushion and freshly cleaned blanket in a bag. As he collapses into his seat and fumbles around for his seatbelt, he glances across to his fellow passenger who is sitting on the far seat next to the window. She is a thin-looking girl in her twenties and she seems a little nervous about the flight as she leafs through the in-flight magazine, but grasps her hand into little fists from time to time. She doesn’t look up.
“Looks like we have a spare seat between us, that’s handy!” comments Michael, attempting to start a conversation with his new companion.
The girl looks up at him as if to enquire if he was talking to her and when it is apparent that he is, she replies:
“Maybe they’ll get on in Paris.”
Michael looks at the girl who has now turned to look at him and he can see from her puffy eyes that she has been crying.
“Are you okay?” he asks sensitively.
“Can I ask you a favour?” The girl asks hesitantly.
“Sure!” replies Michael, not knowing what to expect.
“Can you hold my hand when we take off? I don’t really like flying and I’m frightened I’ll have a panic attack.”
Michael is a little shocked at this request, but seeing her pale and agitated expression he agrees and reaches his arm across the empty seat, opening his palm to take hers. The plane begins to move and the cabin crew begin the safety demonstrations. With each little bump of the plane as it moves towards the runway, the girl becomes more and more nervous, and when it comes to a full stop to rev up the main engines, she quickly grasps Michael’s hand and squeezes her eyes closed. Her hand is soft and warm and the tight grip sends a tingling sensation up Michael’s arm and through his body. The plane accelerates and the force of the movement pushes the passengers deep into their seats until the nose of the plane turns upwards and the forces of gravity and inertia fight against the upward movement. Michael starts to panic himself as he continues to watch the expression of the girl move from fear to horror to hyperventilation.
“Take deep breaths, you’ll be okay!” he shouts across to her over the deafening whirr from the engines and the booming movement of air over the surface of the aircraft.
Either she can’t hear him or she is too busy remembering how to breathe. The girl seems to be in distress, so against the natural pull of the movement, Michael unlatches his seatbelt and eases himself over into the middle seat to get closer to the girl. Unable to free the grip on his left hand, he leans over to reach his right hand to the girl’s back to try and help her to breathe. Finding this all rather awkward, he reaches over to free her left hand that is clutching onto the armrest and he holds her other hand, all the time shouting to her:
“Just breathe! You’re okay!!”
Finally, after what seems like an eternity, the plane levels out and the girl settles down a bit. Totally shaken by her traumatic experience, she snaps out of her adrenaline fuelled trance and finally releasing her grip on Michael’s hands, she flings her arms around him and bursts into tears. The other passengers nearby try to look over to see what the commotion is and all Michael can do is to give her a hug and let her express her emotion. Slowly he pulls her away and pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket.
“It’s clean.” He says as he hands it to her.
“Thank you.” Sniffs the girl as she wipes the tears from her eyes.
“It’s okay.” Replies Michael. “Do you mind if I stay in this seat? My name is Michael by the way.”
The girl suddenly seems to remember that he is a complete stranger.
“Oh… my name’s Lena.”